The Ban on Worldcoin’s Biometric Data Collection

The Ban on Worldcoin’s Biometric Data Collection

Portugal’s National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) recently made the decision to ban Worldcoin from collecting biometric data for a period of three months. This ban stems from various reasons, including the lack of a mechanism for verifying the age of members, resulting in data collection from minors without parental consent. Furthermore, Worldcoin failed to provide users with sufficient information on data management, leaving them unable to delete their information or revoke consent. The CNPD highlighted that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes specific protections for biometric data and minors, pointing out potential violations of these standards as justification for the urgent intervention against Worldcoin.

Paula Meira Lourenço, President of the CNPD, emphasized that the recent measures taken against Worldcoin are essential to safeguard the rights of the public and minors. The CNPD stressed the importance of protecting sensitive data and ensuring compliance with GDPR regulations. The ban on collecting biometric data on the iris, eyes, and face aims to prevent further privacy breaches and unauthorized data processing.

In response to the ban, Worldcoin denied any wrongdoing and asserted full compliance with all laws and regulations in its operating regions. The Worldcoin Foundation’s data protection officer, Jannick Preiwisch, stated that the organization does not allow minors to register through the ORB platform. Preiwisch highlighted that Worldcoin has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards registrations by minors and is actively addressing the concerns raised by the CNPD. Worldcoin recently introduced a user-controlled Personal Custody model to give users more control over their data, demonstrating a commitment to data privacy and security.

Spain also joined Portugal in imposing a three-month ban on Worldcoin’s data collection activities for similar reasons. This international response underscores the importance of upholding data protection laws and ensuring transparency in data processing practices. The actions taken by the CNPD and other regulatory bodies serve as a reminder to tech companies to prioritize user privacy and comply with regulatory standards to avoid penalties and reputational damage.

The ban on Worldcoin’s biometric data collection reflects a broader concern for data privacy and protection of minors’ rights. By enforcing GDPR regulations and holding companies accountable for data processing practices, regulatory authorities aim to create a safer digital environment for users. Worldcoin’s response to the ban showcases the importance of transparency and user control over personal data. As the debate on data privacy continues, it is crucial for companies to prioritize the protection of sensitive information and comply with regulatory requirements to build trust with users and avoid potential legal challenges.


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