Kenyan authorities raided a Worldcoin warehouse in Nairobi, confiscating equipment as part of an ongoing investigation into the company’s activities and method of gathering data.
Law enforcement in Kenya confiscated machines believed to hold data gathered by Worldcoin from a warehouse on Mombasa Road, Nairobi. The equipment was subsequently transported to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters for further examination, as reported by Capital News.
Following the suspension of World Coins operations and an official investigation by the Kenyan government, it was revealed that Worldcoin had been capturing the iris scans of Kenyan citizens in return for 25 World tokens. However, due to privacy concerns raised by experts about the potential mishandling of sensitive iris scan data, the Interior Cabinet Secretary, Kithure Kindiki, decided to halt the company’s activities. This move also led to heightened government oversight of the company.
The Worldcoin (WLD) token derives its name from the corresponding Worldcoin project. This initiative is centered around creating a World ID ecosystem that utilizes iris scans to authenticate the identities of individuals accessing financial services. The concept of World ID guarantees that users availing these services are indeed humans and not automated bots.
The Worldcoin project is spearheaded by an entity called “Tools for Humanity,” an organization co-founded by Sam Altman, the creator of OpenAI. It’s worth highlighting that the project has garnered investments from notable venture capital firms, such as a16z, the cryptocurrency branch of Andreessen Horowitz.
Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI responsible for creating the chatbot ChatGPT, expressed his aspiration that this initiative will aid in distinguishing between humans and robots. Worldcoin, on the other hand, selected Kenya as the inaugural African country for launching its platform due to the thriving tech sector in the region and the substantial number of Kenyan individuals, exceeding four million, already involved in cryptocurrency trading.
According to the report, Immaculate Kassait, the Data Commissioner of the Data Protection Office, revealed that Worldcoin’s parent company (Tools for Humanity) had been registered as a data processor. However, Kassait noted that Tools for Humanity had not fully disclosed its intentions during registration.