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German data watchdog probing Worldcoin crypto project, says official

Worldcoin, which launched last week, requires users to give their iris scans in exchange for a digital ID and, in some countries, free cryptocurrency as part of plans to create a new identity

Worldcoin project

Worldcoin project

Reuters

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A German data watchdog has been investigating OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s Worldcoin project since late last year due to concerns over its large-scale processing of sensitive biometric data, the regulator's president told Reuters.

Worldcoin, which launched last week, requires users to give their iris scans in exchange for a digital ID and, in some countries, free cryptocurrency as part of plans to create a new “identity and financial network”.

The Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision started investigating Worldcoin in November 2022 because of concerns that the project seeks to process “sensitive data at a very large scale” using new technology, Michael Will, the state regulator’s president, told Reuters in emailed comments on Friday.

Will said the Bavarian state regulator is the lead authority investigating Worldcoin under the European Union’s data protection rules because Tools For Humanity, the company behind Worldcoin, has a German subsidiary there.


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First Published: Jul 31 2023 | 11:20 PM IST

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