UK Watchdog Eyes Worldcoin’s Orb: More Regulators to Follow?

Worldcoin (WLD), a digital identity project, and its eye-scanning orbs have caught the attention of the UK’s Information Commission.

A bobby standing on the white cliffs of Dover checking out a giant eyeball appearing on the horizon.
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  • The UK’s Information Commission is investigating Worldcoin’s eye-scanning Orbs.
  • The project, co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has raised privacy concerns.
  • The investigation’s outcome could influence regulators across the world. 

Worldcoin’s eye-scanning Orbs have sparked controversy since their inception. The digital identity project, co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has seen both praise and criticism in huge volumes. Most recently, it has also caught the attention of the UK’s Information Commission,  prompting an official investigation. 

UK’s Information Commission Probes into Worldcoin’s Orb

On Tuesday, July 25, the UK’s data regulator announced its plans to investigate Worldcoin’s Orb, a new orb-based digital identity project. The project, launched the previous day, was co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

The project’s approach to creating a decentralized digital identity platform has been controversial. Privacy concerns have been raised due to its use of biometric data for creating digital identity signatures. 

This is why Worldcoin has caught the attention of the UK’s Information Commission’s Office (ICO). The agency plans to investigate the project and its data privacy and security implications.

“We note the launch of Worldcoin in the UK and will be making further inquiries,” a spokesperson for the agency told Reuters. 

The ICO’s remarks come just one day after the official launch of the Worldcoin (WLD) token. This move also signals that regulators are taking note, which will have significant implications for Worldcoin. 

Worldcoin’s Potential Roadblocks: Europe, China, US, and More? 

Worldcoin faces potential regulatory roadblocks in multiple important jurisdictions. For one, the project faces potential troubles in jurisdictions if it runs afoul of strict data collection and privacy rules. Most notably, this includes the 27-member European Union. 

Moreover, Worldcoin may run into issues for other reasons. For instance, its data collection may clash with surveillance measures in other countries. China, which has its own mass surveillance system, does not allow foreign companies to collect data on its citizens. 

Worldcoin also faces unique challenges in the United States. While the country has less strict data collection laws, it does have very strict investor protections. In particular, the US Securities and Exchange Commission is currently cracking down on crypto assets. This is why Worldcoin (WLD) token is not currently available to US investors. 

Combined, the United States, European Union, and China make up three of the largest markets in the world. Worldcoin’s prospects will be significantly curtailed if all three take action to restrict its activities.

On the Flipside

  • Worldcoin’s approach to creating a decentralized digital identity platform, particularly iris scanning, has sparked data privacy and security debates. 
  • On July 24, Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin shared his thoughts on Worldcoin and Proof of Personhood. 

Why This Matters 

The investigation into Worldcoin’s Orb by the UK’s Information Commission is significant for crypto traders and the broader crypto community. It will also impact Worldcoin’s (WLD) standing in the crypto market. 

Read more about Worldcoin’s launch and criticism: 

Worldcoin Launch Meets Enthusiastic Reception, but Privacy Concerns Persist: Here’s Why

Read about the investigation that sheds new light on the Terra-Luna collapse: 

Do Kwon’s Wallet Found? ‘Dox-to-Earn’ Arkham Intel Awards First Bounty

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
David Marsanic

David Marsanic is a journalist for DailyCoin who covers the intersection of crypto, traditional finance, and government. He focuses on institutionalized crypto entities like major cryptocurrency exchanges and Solana, breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand writing. David's prior experience as a business journalist at various crypto and traditional news sites has enabled him to maintain a critical approach to news while adhering to high journalistic integrity standards.