Hong Kong’s PCPD orders Worldcoin to wind up its business

The Office of the Principal Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) has ordered Worldcoin to close its doors owing to the ongoing investigation into the company, which began in early 2024. Interestingly, Worldcoin is a crypto exercise that was co-founded by Sam Altma, the CEO of OpenAI. 

In early 2024, PCPD divulged its intention to investigate Worldcoin’s business operations due to fears that personal information may be compromised. This involved PCPD connecting with Worldcoin’s properties in Yau Ma Tei, Kwun Tong, Wan Chai, Cyberport, Central, and Causeway Bay.  

Ada Chung Lai-ling, the Privacy Commissioner for PCPD, observed that the crypto exercise had violated the data protection principles (DPPs) regarding data availability, rectification rights, and collection while maintaining clarity. 

The Worldcoin exercise involved scanning people’s iris to authenticate their identification and obtain the conventional cryptocurrency, WLD. 

In order to authenticate participants and issue them with WLD, the project’s native cryptocurrency, the Worldcoin project scanned their iris.

As per the investigation, people were asked to permit some companies to gain access to their facial and iris images via the inadequate scanning of iris. In the case of the exercise, there was the claim that 8,302 people went through the process in Hong Kong. As per PCPD, the data was accumulated incorrectly. Certain added discrepancies were also noticed, like the forms written in the Chinese language, which were difficult for the locals to understand. The risk factors, too, were not divulged to any of the participants.

All of this finally led to the call for an immediate shutdown. Worldcoin is known to have faced similar music in countries such as Germany, France, and Kenya. 

As a corrective measure, Worldcoin introduced its secure multiparty computation (SMPC) to improve safety standards for stored data via its disbursement through separate addresses.

David Cox

David is a finance graduate and crypto enthusiast. He projects his expertise in subjects like crypto and Blockchain while writing for CryptoNewsZ. Being from Finance background, he efficiently writes Price Analysis. Apart from writing, he actively nurtures hobbies like sports and movies.

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