Kenya’s Data Protection Commissioner has moved to court seeking to bar Worldcoin operators from either transferring or processing data collected from Kenyans.
The government agency in its case filed before the High Court wants the court to order Tools for Humanity Corporation, Sense Marketing, and Tools for Humanity GmbH not to use the data it collected from Kenyans before the government intervened.
Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) claims that a preliminary assessment of Worldcoin’s actions indicates that the firms behind it, might have flouted the law.
“Having reviewed the Worldcoin project in Kenya, the applicant is apprehensive that the processing of the personal data does not adhere to the principles of data protection as set out in Section 25 of the Act,” court papers filed before Milimani High Court read in part.
The Immaculate Kassait-led agency claims that despite the State ordering the US firms not to deal with the data, they had collected for 60 days, the companies have proceeded with the processing the same.
“The applicant is aware that despite the suspension and directive to cease processing of personal data, the respondents continued to process the said personal data. It took the public directive by the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Interior and Coordination to halt the operations of the respondents on August 2, 2023,” the data agency claims.
The elephant in the room regarding the registration of Wordcoin is the compulsory scanning of eyeballs, in order to confirm the humanity of whoever is registering.
Once the scanning is done through special machines known as Orbs, a virtual human identity otherwise known as the World ID is created.
This project has become popular amongst many Kenyan citizens due to the tokens amounting to Sh7,700 awarded to a registered member.
The craze has seen Kenyans drag their families into registering, which has since been suspended by the government.
In court, ODPC fears Worldcoin will delete or transfer data in order to beat ongoing investigations.
It is believed operators might have been collecting data from Kenyans for over a year without raising an eyebrow.
It wants the court to issue a preservation order to Worldcoin, their officers, agents, representatives and employees preserving all personal data and sensitive personal data collected from Kenyans from April 19, 2022, to August 8, 2023.