Hong Kong Raids 6 Worldcoin Operators Over Biometric Data

The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) in Hong Kong has initiated an investigation into the Worldcoin project, founded by Sam Altman of OpenAI, according to a statement released by the PCPD.

The project, offering 25 digital WLD coins for iris scans, triggered concerns about privacy violations, leading to searches at six Hong Kong locations under court warrants.

Worldcoin aims to establish a blockchain-based global identity (World ID) and digital currency (WorldCoin) system with an electronic wallet (WorldAPP). Privacy Commissioner Chung Liling cautioned the public, emphasizing the sensitivity of biometric data like iris scans. 

Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Ada Chung, in a statement, “Members of the public should carefully protect their sensitive personal data and avoid participating in any activities that collect sensitive personal data, such as iris scanning, arbitrarily.”

Worldcoin had previously faced regulatory scrutiny over the same iris biometric, resulting in the cessation of its Orb-verification service in France and Brazil. 

Organizations are reminded to comply with the Privacy Ordinance and data protection principles in Hong Kong. This investigation highlights mounting concerns surrounding privacy in digital currency projects.

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2024-01-31 17:40