Argentina’s Agency for Access to Public Information (AAIP) disclosed that it is currently conducting an investigation on Worldcoin to determine whether it complies with security and privacy rules.
The cryptocurrency project, which saw the light of day in July, sparked huge controversy due to its eye-scanning requirements. Other countries, including Kenya and Germany, have also raised concerns on the matter.
Argentina Joining the Club
The aforementioned agency said it will investigate how the Worldcoin Foundation in Argentina processes personal data and whether the crypto project hides any risks to the privacy of consumers.
“The investigation will carefully analyze the processes and practices in relation to the collection, storage, and use of personal data to identify possible effects on the rights recognized by Law 25,326.
In addition, appropriate steps will be taken to address any identified issues and ensure that the company complies with security and privacy standards,” the disclosure reads.
Worldcoin’s popularity has recently surged in the South American country due to the procedure of scanning the face and iris of multiple individuals in different regions, such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Mendoza, in exchange for certain economic compensations.
The AAIP outlined that the entity responsible for obtaining such biometric information should be registered with the relevant regulator. It added that users should also know who collects that sensitive data, where it gets stored, and what is the processing time.
“Cases like this make visible the need to strengthen the current legal framework regarding the Protection of Personal Data, as has been raised repeatedly and in various national and international forums by the AAIP,” the agency concluded.
Wolrdcoin’s Birth and the Triggered Controversy
After years of trials and fundraisers, Worldcoin finally launched its native token WLD at the end of July. The project, led by the CEO of OpenAI – Sam Altman, presents itself as an open-source protocol “designed to become the world’s largest human identity and financial network, giving ownership to everyone.”
The controversy behind it comes from Worldcoin’s intention to register new users and distribute certain crypto assets to those who scan their iris through a ball-like device called an “orb.”
Somewhat expectedly, the project’s idea, which reminds the plot of a sci-fi movie, received a wave of criticism from numerous agencies. The government of Kenya, for example, suspended all Worldcoin activities and the distribution of WLD due to safety and privacy concerns.
“Appropriate action will be taken on any natural or juristic person who furthers, aids, abets or otherwise engages in or is connected with the activities afore-described,” the Kenyan politician Kithure Kindiki stated.
The regulators of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom have also questioned the legality of Worldcoin’s biometric data collection.
Privacy experts have warned that personal data, such as iris identification, is quite sensitive and could be breached by criminals. This, in turn, could lead to identity theft or stalking.