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Worldcoin Pauses Spanish Operations for Data Audit


According to a statement, Worldcoin is stopping its operations in Spain until the German company in charge of supervising the activity of the project under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) finishes its examination.

Tool for Humanity, a Worldcoin contributor, kindly volunteered to pause Worldcoin orb operations in Spain,” the statement continued.

The main proponent of the Worldcoin project, Tools for Humanity, co-created by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, aims to build a mechanism whereby individuals could prove their humanity. Those who register for the project get WLD tokens as payment for having their eyeballs scanned by a Worldcoin orb to get a World ID, therefore establishing their personhood, or “humanness.”

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Companies like Tools for Humanity see great importance in having humans build digital identities that will enable them to be uniquely identified from online agents driven by artificial intelligence; future versions of the internet will be greatly populated by AI actors, or bots.

Concerns about the protection of personal data have several government bodies closely examining the Worldcoin initiative.

Back in March, the Spanish Data Protection Agency, or AEPD, first directed Worldcoin to stop running activities in Spain. On Tuesday, the agency released a statement summarizing its stance about Worldcoin’s ongoing suspension.

“Has now made a legally binding commitment not to resume its activity in Spain until the end of the year or, if applicable, until the BayLDA adopts a final resolution in relation to the data processing carried out by the company,” said the AEPD.

The AEPD further stated: “The main authority regarding data processing… as established by the GDPR… is the BayLDA, or data protection authority of Bavaria, Germany.”

GDPR Compliance and Future Steps

According to their statement, Tools for Humanity has been working with the BayLDA for more than a year. Furthermore, Tools for Humanity has taken steps recently to reassure proponents of data privacy that Worldcoin regards the safeguarding of biometric data as a top priority.

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Worldcoin debuted “Personal Custody,” an effort forbidden by new sign-ups seeking to have their biometric data encrypted and retained. The project then said that anyone who had already registered might ask Worldcoin to remove the numerical “iris code” generated upon scanning their eyeballs. Worldcoin also set policies prohibiting anyone under the age of eighteen from registering.

Tools for Humanity’s Chief Legal Officer Thomas Scott said in a statement, “While it is encouraging that, in a recent survey of World ID users in Spain, more than 80% of the 21,000 respondents said they believe technologies like World ID are important to distinguish between bots and humans online, and nearly 90% of them support the project’s return to Spain, we voluntarily offered to extend pausing orb operations in the country.”

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