Worldcoin gadgets used to capture data during registration confiscated, Kindiki says

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki before the Adhoc Committee probing the Worldcoin controversy at the Mini Chambers, Nairobi. September 14th,2023 (Elvis Ogina, Standard)

The Government has confiscated various electronic gadgets belonging to Worldcoin that were used to capture private data of Kenyans in July this year.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has told the Ad Hoc Committee probing the company's operations in Kenya that they managed to confiscate a total of 48 pieces of equipment, to allow for a forensic audit.

"We have in our possession the electronic gadgets and we want to establish the exact number of Kenyans whose Iries were captured. So far, we also have 24 statements recorded by police from persons of interest," Kindiki stated.

At the same time, Kindiki reiterated that Worldcoin and its agents were not registered to operate in Kenya and that instead, they were operating in the disguise of offering educational assistance to Kenyans.

His submission comes days after his Information Communication and Technology counterpart Eliud Owalo told the same committee that the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) gave Worldcoin the greenlight to operate in Kenya.

Owalo stated that the commission's office was fully aware that Worldcoin had not met data protection requirements adding that the agents who were collecting data on behalf of Worldcoin had not been registered by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

"It is a matter of profound concern, even to us at the Ministry that while Worldcoin started collecting data in public places in May 2021, this fact only became known to ODPC in April 2022, (almost a year later), and to the Ministry and other Government officials towards the end of July 2023, after this became a matter of grave public concern," said Owalo.