Home Cryptocurrency News Portugal Hits Sam Altman’s Worldcoin With Data Collection Ban

Portugal Hits Sam Altman’s Worldcoin With Data Collection Ban

Portugal Hits Sam Altman’s Worldcoin With Data Collection Ban

Portugal’s National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) has banned Worldcoin from collecting biometric data on citizens for three months. 

The move means that Sam Altman’s controversial biometrics venture has been almost entirely kicked out of Europe. 

Portugal Bans Worldcoin From Collecting Data 

The order from Portugal’s National Data Protection Commission comes after Spain’s Data Protection Authority (DPA) handed out a similar three-month ban. According to the commission, the ban applies for 90 days until an investigation is concluded and a final decision is reached. The ban applies to the collection of biometric data of the iris, eyes, and face. The CNPD stated that it had imposed the ban on Worldcoin’s activities for several reasons. 

It stated that Worldcoin allegedly had no mechanism to verify the age of members and had allegedly collected biometric data from minors without parental permission. 

“The CNPD decided yesterday to order the Worldcoin Foundation to temporarily limit the collection of biometric data through the “Orb” in the national territory to safeguard the rights of citizens, especially minors.”

It also alleged that Worldcoin did not provide sufficient information to users and left them unable to delete their data or revoke consent. According to the CNPD, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes special protections for biometric data and minors. The CNPD also mentioned several other possible violations of GDPR standards, stating that these factors justified its urgent intervention and action against Worldcoin. 

The president of the CNPD, Paula Meira Lourenço, called the measures “indispensable and justified” as they will protect the rights of the public and minors. 

Conflict With Data Protection Laws 

The European Union’s data protection laws give people in the EU significant rights over their personal data. This includes the ability to have their data corrected, amended, and even deleted. This puts Worldcoin, which uses blockchain technology to store information and tokens derived from users, into legal conflict with EU laws, considering Worldcoin’s system is meant to retain personal data permanently. 

Several other problematic issues exist, such as the quasi-financial incentive offered to users to scan their biometrics, the highly sensitive nature of the data involved, and the project’s overarching goal of creating and operating an identity layer for humanness. 

Almost Out Of Europe 

The action by the CNPD means Worldcoin is almost entirely out of Europe. After Spain banned Worldcoin, Portugal was only one of two countries in Europe that allowed Worldcoin to operate its proprietary eyeball-scanning orbs and collect data. Following Portugal’s ban, Germany is the only country in Europe where Worldcoin can harvest biometric data in Europe as regulators and privacy watchdogs swing into action to address concerns about user data and privacy. 

Worldcoin Denies Wrongdoing 

Worldcoin, on its part, has denied any wrongdoing, claiming it does not allow minors to register through the Orb. Jannick Preiwisch, the Worldcoin Foundation’s data protection officer, stated that Worldcoin fully complies with all laws and regulations in the areas where it operates. He also said that Worldcoin had previously not heard from the CNPD about the issues they had raised and asserted that Worldcoin had zero tolerance for the registration of minors while also assuring that the project would tackle such issues. 

Worldcoin had recently introduced a user-controlled Personal Custody model that allowed users to exercise greater control over their data.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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