German Government’s Watchdog Initiates Worldcoin Investigation in November 2022: Report

Worldcoin, a human identity verification project that aims to differentiate between real users and bots through retinal scans, has come under scrutiny from the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision (BayLDA) in Germany. According to a recent report by Reuters on July 31, 2023, the German data watchdog initiated an investigation into Worldcoin’s activities back in November 2022.

Before its token launch in July, Worldcoin had already garnered significant attention with over 2 million sign-ups. However, it was the collection and usage of retinal scan data that raised concerns for BayLDA. The watchdog’s president, Michael Will, expressed apprehension about the technologies used for transferring financial information, as they were neither well-established nor thoroughly analyzed, potentially posing risks for Worldcoin users.

The scrutiny does not end with Germany, as the French National Commission on Informatics and Liberty has also criticized Worldcoin’s data collection methods as “questionable.” Similar concerns have been raised by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the United Kingdom. Despite these investigations and critiques, Worldcoin’s parent company, Tools For Humanity, continues to attract interest from users worldwide, and its subsidiary in Germany plays a significant role in the project’s expansion.

Since the token’s launch, Worldcoin co-founder Sam Altman has reported an impressive rate of “getting verified every 8 seconds” through iris scans conducted across the globe. The project has garnered attention from influential figures in the cryptocurrency space, such as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Block CEO Jack Dorsey. Many crypto enthusiasts have highlighted the potential benefits of Worldcoin, including assisting those affected by the collapses of Three Arrows Capital and FTX. As the investigation unfolds, the fate of Worldcoin and its ambitious goals to revolutionize identity verification in the digital age remains uncertain.

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