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Another European Nation Forces WorldCoin to Halt Operations

2 mins
Updated by Ali Martinez
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In Brief

  • Portugal halts WorldCoin's biometric data collection amid privacy concerns.
  • The CNPD cites urgent need for intervention due to risk to citizen data protection.
  • WorldCoin faces global scrutiny, yet aims to enhance user data control and security.
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Portugal has imposed a temporary halt on Sam Altman’s WorldCoin from collecting biometric data.

The decision highlights escalating global concerns over privacy and data protection rights with technologies that harvest sensitive personal information.

Portugal Bans WorldCoin

WorldCoin, aimed at creating a unique digital ID and financial network through facial scans, has registered over 4.5 million individuals across 120 nations. Yet, the venture’s ambition hit a snag in Portugal, where the CNPD highlighted the acute risk to citizen data protection, citing the need for “urgent intervention.”

The suspension, affecting a service that engaged over 300,000 Portuguese citizens, follows numerous complaints regarding unauthorized data collection. This is particularly regarding minors and issues around consent withdrawal and data deletion.

Still, Jannick Preiwisch, WorldCoin’s Data Protection Officer, emphasized the project’s adherence to legal standards, expressing surprise at the allegations. He assured efforts are underway to rectify any reported issues, especially concerning underage participation.

“The report from CNPD is the first time we are hearing from them regarding many of these matters, including reports of underage sign-ups in Portugal, for which we have zero tolerance for and are working to address in all instances, even if a matter of a few reports,” Preiwisch said.

Read more: What Is Worldcoin? A Guide to the Iris-Scanning Crypto Project

This development in Portugal mirrors broader skepticism and regulatory scrutiny facing WorldCoin. Countries like Spain and Kenya have similarly curtailed WorldCoin’s operations. These nations voiced apprehensions about the safety and ethical implications of biometric data collection.

Meanwhile, privacy advocates and regulators, including the Bavarian state regulator spearheading the EU’s investigation into WorldCoin, question the adequacy of protections against potential misuse or breach of personal data.

Despite these challenges, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin commended WorldCoin’s efforts to address privacy concerns. He highlighted advanced cryptographic solutions, showcasing the project’s commitment to evolving in response to criticism.

“[WorldCoin] has been doing quite a good job of taking the privacy critiques seriously and designing its system to be more and more data-minimal. Modern cryptography is truly amazing,” Buterin said.

Read more: Worldcoin (WLD) Price Prediction 2024/2025/2030

As WorldCoin navigates regulatory hurdles across the globe, the debate over digital identity and privacy rights continues to intensify, marking a pivotal moment in the intersection of technology, ethics, and regulation.

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Ali Martinez
Ali Martinez is the Global Head of News at BeInCrypto, specializing in market analysis, emerging trends in the crypto industry, Bitcoin’s four-year cycle, and macroeconomic developments. Previously, he covered the altcoins market for Crypto Briefing, CryptoSlate, CCN.com, and NewsBTC. His reporting focused on the ICO boom, Ethereum's evolution, Bitcoin halvings, and network upgrades like hard forks and soft forks, emphasizing the impact on digital asset valuations. At Binance and FXStreet,...
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