- UK regulator has outlined steps that Worldcoin must take to ensure compliance.
- Processing of biometric data is a high-risk activity, says ICO.
- ICO’s interest in Worldcoin’s UK launch sheds light on its regulatory challenges.
The intersection of crypto and data gathering is increasingly coming into focus. This was recently highlighted when the UK’s data watchdog said it was looking into the launch of Worldcoin.
UK Regulator Highlights Data Collection Rules
On Wednesday, July 25, Worldcoin launched its crypto token worldwide, almost immediately catching the attention of regulators. The project, co-founded by Sam Altman of OpenAI, will distribute crypto via an orb-shaped device that scans users’ eyes.
The goal is to scan the irises of every person in the world, creating a digital password for the web. However, this unique approach is raising eyebrows among data-protection agencies. On the same day of the Worldcoin launch, UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said they would be “making inquiries” into the project.
DailyCoin reached out to the ICO for more information. In response, a spokesperson outlined the necessary measures Worldcoin needs to undertake to ensure compliance with UK data protection regulations.
“Organisations must conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) before starting any processing likely to result in high risk,” the spokesperson explained.
According to the statement, this includes “processing special category biometric data.” They added that companies must consult the ICO if they “identify high risks that they cannot mitigate.”
Further highlighting the importance of user consent, the spokesperson stated, “Organisations also need to have a clear lawful basis to process personal data.”
“Where they are relying on consent, this needs to be freely given and capable of being withdrawn without detriment,” the ICO spokesperson explained. They also repeated that the ICO noted the launch of Worldcoin and mentioned that it would be making inquiries.
On the Flipside
- As Worldcoin continues its global rollout, it will likely face different and possibly conflicting regulatory requirements in various jurisdictions.
- Worldcoin also faces challenges in the US for a different reason. The WLD token is unavailable to US users due to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s harsh stance on crypto.
Why This Matters
For crypto traders and investors, the ICO’s statements on Worldcoin underscore the importance of understanding the regulatory landscape when making investment decisions. Regulations influence the acceptance and viability of cryptocurrencies and shape their future trajectories.
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