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Worldcoin refutes AEPD claims concerning Spanish ban

worldcoin-aepd-spain-ban
Edited by
News
Worldcoin refutes AEPD claims concerning Spanish ban

Worldcoin Data Protection Officer Jannick Preiwisch has countered the Spanish Data Protection Agency’s claims concerning the project’s ban in Spain.

On Mar. 6, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) ordered Worldcoin (WLD) to cease data collection and processing for up to three months due to complaints regarding insufficient information, data collection from minors, and the inability to withdraw consent.

Worldcoin, a digital ID cryptocurrency venture created by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has been temporarily banned in Spain due to concerns over how the company’s eyeball-scanning technology collected and processed biometric data.

Worldcoin’s World ID necessitates users to scan their irises using orbs. The device captures an image of the irises before users obtain a unique form of identification and the Worldcoin cryptocurrency. 

However, the AEPD has instructed Tools for Humanity, the company responsible for collecting and processing user data, to halt the collection of additional data for new users in the country and cease using the data already gathered by Worldcoin.

The agency emphasized that processing biometric data demands “special protection” due to the “high risks to the rights of individuals,” which include potential data transfers to third parties.

Earlier today, Preiwisch, the Data Protection Officer at the Worldcoin Foundation, emailed crypto.news that the company is eager to dispel any false claims made by the AEPD. 

“It is unfortunate that the Spanish data protection authority (AEPD) is circumventing established procedures under GDPR with their actions today, which are limited to Spain and not the broader EU. Additionally, It is also unfortunate that they are spreading inaccurate and misleading claims about our technology globally after our efforts to provide them with an accurate view of Worldcoin and World ID have gone unanswered for months. We are grateful to now have the opportunity to help the AEPD better understand the important facts regarding this essential and lawful technology.”

Jannick Preiwisch, Data Protection Officer, Worldcoin Foundation

In recent weeks, privacy experts have criticized Worldcoin, expressing concerns that the company may utilize the collected information for purposes such as personalized marketing.

The ban in Spain mirrors a similar suspension in Kenya, where the local data protection authority banned Worldcoin’s processing activities, and the government mandated the suspension of eye scans. Worldcoin has also encountered technical issues since its launch, with some users reporting difficulties in claiming tokens after undergoing eye scans.

Worldcoin’s technical and regulatory hurdles 

Worldcoin has faced a series of controversies and challenges that have drawn attention from both users and regulators.

MIT Technology Review investigations have uncovered troubling findings about Worldcoin’s marketing practices. Allegations of deceptive marketing, excessive data collection beyond disclosed limits, and inadequate informed consent procedures have raised concerns about the project’s transparency and user privacy protections.

Additionally, Worldcoin faced scrutiny over its handling of Sybil attacks, a security threat where a single entity creates and controls multiple fake accounts within a network. Questions have been raised about the project’s approach to preventing such attacks, especially in decentralized networks where maintaining pseudonymity is crucial for trust.

On Jan. 31, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) in Hong Kong announced that it had executed raids on six premises associated with Worldcoin in the city to gather documents and information about Worldcoin’s operations. 

These developments highlight the multifaceted challenges Worldcoin faces as it grapples with controversies surrounding privacy, marketing ethics, security vulnerabilities, and market fluctuations.

WLD is trading at $7.20 when writing, representing an 8% price rise in the last 24 hours.