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Worldcoin Lures Governments By Allowing Them to Use Iris-Scan Data

3 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Worldcoin is attracting global interest with its iris-scan data technology, allowing governments and corporations to utilize its ID system for various applications.
  • Privacy concerns emerge as biometric data collection increases, though Worldcoin maintains that it complies with all data protection laws.
  • The global acceptance of the technology could revolutionize processes ranging from basic income distribution to cybersecurity.
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In an unprecedented move, Worldcoin, a cryptocurrency project co-founded by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has announced plans to allow other organizations to utilize its groundbreaking iris-scanning and identity verification technology.

This move serves to bolster Worldcoin’s ambitious mission of establishing the “biggest financial and identity community” worldwide.

Governments Want to Cozy Up With Worldcoin to Get to Its Data

Worldcoin is attracting a steadily growing user base, with 2.2 million individuals having signed up to use the platform. Users are lured by the promise of free Worldcoin tokens and the provision of a unique digital ID, gained in return for providing a scan of their iris.

The potential utility of Worldcoin’s biometric identification technology extends beyond cryptocurrency, promising many possible applications. These include distinguishing humans from artificial intelligence, enabling global democratic processes, and also potentially paving the way toward a universal basic income.

Ricardo Macieira, the general manager for Europe at Tools For Humanity, the company overseeing the project, explained the potential role of Worldcoin’s technology in universal basic income:

“I don’t think we are going to be the ones generating universal basic income. If we can do the infrastructure that allows for governments or other entities to do so we would be very happy.”

Worldcoin’s ID system holds particular appeal for governments. Its utility extends to ensuring that citizens don’t unfairly claim more than their share of goods or services, for example. Macieira cites the instance of a coffee shop wanting to offer everyone a free coffee. In such a scenario, Worldcoin could ensure people don’t claim more than one coffee without needing to collect personal data.

While the innovative potential of Worldcoin’s technology is evident, it does not come without criticism. Privacy campaigners and regulators alike have voiced concerns about the collection and handling of biometric data. Worldcoin maintains that its project is “completely private.” It also asserts that biometric data is either deleted or stored in encrypted form based on users’ preferences.

However, Michael Will, president of the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision, underscores the necessity of transparency in data handling. As Worldcoin grows, the question remains whether it will be able to guarantee the safety and privacy of user data. At the same time, it must prove a robust and reliable identity verification service.

The Rising Use of AI Has Many Concerned About Protecting Privacy

The use of artificial intelligence in our daily lives has also drawn the attention of prominent figures. This includes Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Gates has highlighted risks that AI can pose to democracy through deepfake technology and misinformation: 

“On a bigger scale, AI-generated deepfakes could be used to try to tilt an election. Of course, it doesn’t take sophisticated technology to sow doubt about the legitimate winner of an election, but AI will make it easier.”

Worldcoin’s technology could help counteract such risks by providing a solid basis for identity verification. However, as Gates points out, it’s crucial to maintain a balance between innovation and ensuring the technology doesn’t foster harm.

In a world where AI doomsday scenarios are gaining traction, Worldcoin’s intentions to make its iris-scanning technology open-source stands out. Their vision allows anyone to build their orb and use it to benefit their community. This democratization of technology might just be the counterbalance needed against potential misuse. It could also allow the world to reap the benefits of AI without succumbing to its potential pitfalls.

It remains to be seen how governments and organizations will utilize this technology and if they will respect privacy concerns. Worldcoin will likely play a pivotal role in shaping the future of identity verification, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrency.

This article was initially compiled by an advanced AI, engineered to extract, analyze, and organize information from a broad array of sources. It operates devoid of personal beliefs, emotions, or biases, providing data-centric content. To ensure its relevance, accuracy, and adherence to BeInCrypto’s editorial standards, a human editor meticulously reviewed, edited, and approved the article for publication.

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