The latest developments from Kenya’s parliamentary committee investigating Worldcoin have led to a solid recommendation to shut down the project’s operations within the country. The committee’s report, released on September 30, highlighted Worldcoin’s persistent collection of personal data from Kenyan residents, a clear violation of a cease-and-desist order issued in May. The data collection, ongoing despite legal directives, is believed to include information from minors, raising serious privacy concerns.
In response to these findings, the parliamentary committee urged Kenyan authorities to take decisive action by turning off Worldcoin’s virtual platforms. Moreover, the committee proposed a thorough investigation into the project’s affiliated companies, exploring potential criminal charges. The report emphasised that Worldcoin’s registration of Kenyans through its online app continued despite legal interventions.
Privacy issues were a focal point in the report, which noted the challenge in determining the number of “orbs” in the country. These orbs are devices Worldcoin uses to facilitate users’ submission of retinal scans for identity verification. The committee recommended that the Kenyan government develop a comprehensive framework for digital assets and virtual asset service providers to address these concerns comprehensively. Additionally, they called for amendments to existing regulations to address cybercrimes and enhance tax reporting requirements.
Lawmakers underscored their apprehensions: “The unregulated adoption and use of cryptocurrency to fully decentralise the global monetary systems pose a threat to statehood.”
Worldcoin, launched to distinguish real individuals from bots by employing retinal scans for identity verification, had garnered millions of sign-ups by July. However, the project has attracted global regulatory scrutiny, with authorities in Germany, Argentina, France, and the United Kingdom expressing concerns or initiating inquiries into Worldcoin’s activities. As of publication, Worldcoin had yet to respond to inquiries from Cointelegraph.