Spanish Regulator Orders Worldcoin to Halt Personal Data Collection

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The Spanish data protection regulator, AEPD, has instructed Worldcoin to halt the collection of personal data in the country through scans and to refrain from utilizing any data already obtained.

This precautionary action was announced on Wednesday after receiving numerous complaints regarding Worldcoin since last summer. These include concerns about the adequacy of information provided by the project regarding data processing, the gathering of data from minors, and the lack of provision for withdrawing consent. Worldcoin was given 72 hours to show compliance with the directive.

Worldcoin Crackdown in Spain

Spain has taken steps to halt Worldcoin for three months, marking another setback for Sam Altman’s crypto project that has stirred controversy across various countries.

Since its inception, it has drawn attention to gathering customers’ personal information through an eyeball-scanning device called an “orb.” The project aims to establish a proof-of-personhood system to differentiate between humans and robots as artificial intelligence advances. However, regulators and privacy advocates worldwide have expressed numerous concerns about the project’s lack of transparency regarding data collection methods.

According to AEPD director Mar España Martí, Spain is the first European nation to take action against Worldcoin, driven by particular apprehension regarding the company’s data collection on minors. Commenting on the development, she said,

“What we have done is raise the alarm in Europe. But this is an issue that affects . . . citizens in all the countries of the European Union. That means there has to be coordinated action.”

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) monitors the processing of personal data of individuals within the European Union, mandating that entities managing data like names, contact information, biometrics, and other identifiers must have a legitimate legal basis for their activities.

Breaches of these regulations can result in fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover.


The Worldcoin project is also under scrutiny in Hong Kong. The Privacy Commissioner’s Office reportedly conducted inquiries at six locations across the city, including Yau Ma Tei, Kwun Tong, Wan Chai, Cyberport, Central, and Causeway Bay, which are linked to the project.

The investigation is said to be centered on potential breaches of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance amid concerns over the organization’s handling of sensitive personal data.

OpenAI, CEO Sam Altman, and President Greg Brockman were not spared by Elon Musk either who sued them for allegedly breaching the original contract. The Tesla chief and the CEO of X (formerly Twitter) claimed that the startup had deviated from its goal of developing responsible AI and had become overly influenced by its primary investor, Microsoft Corp.

In response, OpenAI asserted that Musk’s actions were driven by his unsuccessful attempts to integrate the company into Tesla Inc.

The post Spanish Regulator Orders Worldcoin to Halt Personal Data Collection appeared first on CryptoPotato.

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