Kenya: Communications Authority, Office of the Data Protection Commissioner Raise Serious Concerns After Preliminary Investigations On Worldcoin

Nairobi — A preliminary review undertaken by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has raised serious concerns about sensitive data collected by Worldcoin.

CA and ODPC issued a statement yesterday listing some of the red flags that require urgent attention, such as a lack of clarity on the security and storage of the collected sensitive data (facial recognition and iris scans).

Others are obtaining consumer data in return for a monetary reward that borders on inducement and creates uncertainty regarding consumer protection in cryptocurrency and related ICT services, among other pertinent issues.

“Since the launch of WorldCoin operations in Kenya, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) have undertaken a preliminary review and noted a number of legitimate regulatory concerns that require urgent attention,” ODPC and CA said jointly in a statement.

Worldcoin, which rolled into the country on Monday last week, collects iris data using an Orb scanner before issuing users with tokens once they are proven not to be robots.

Tokens can then be transferred to cryptocurrencies, allowing users to either cash out through agents or sell them.

Similar concerns have been raised in other jurisdictions, such as Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and India.

“Arising from these preliminary observations, a multi-agency investigation is underway,” they announced.

“Consequently, and as directed by the Government, the WorldCoin must cease its data collection activities in Kenya

until further notice.”

Already, the Government has suspended Worldcoin’s operations amid data collection safety concerns.

“The public is advised to take caution when providing personal data to private actors.”