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Home » Cyber Security News » Hong Kong regulator directs Worldcoin to cease operations citing privacy concerns – ET CISO

Hong Kong regulator directs Worldcoin to cease operations citing privacy concerns – ET CISO

Hong Kong regulator directs Worldcoin to cease operations citing privacy concerns – ET CISO,imgsize-64224,width-1200,height=765,overlay-etciso/grc/hong-kong-regulator-directs-worldcoin-to-cease-operations-citing-privacy-concerns.jpg

A Hong Kong regulator on Wednesday served an enforcement notice to Worldcoin Foundation directing it to cease all operations of the cryptocurrency project in the country, citing risk to privacy and personal data.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) added that Worldcoin should stop scanning and collecting iris and face images of the public using its devices. It also dubbed the data collection as “unnecessary and excessive”.

Worldcoin encourages people to have their irises scanned by its “orb” devices, in exchange for a digital ID and free cryptocurrency. More than 5 million people in over 160 countries have signed up to have their irises scanned, according to its website. But the project has drawn criticism over the collection, storage and use of personal data.

Worldcoin Foundation said it was “disappointed by the views released by the regulatory authorities in Hong Kong”.

“Worldcoin operates lawfully and is designed to be fully compliant with all laws and regulations governing data collection and use, including the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance of Hong Kong, among many other similar statutes across other markets,” it said in an emailed statement.

Worldcoin, co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, says its aim is to create a global identity and financial network akin to India’s Aadhaar biometric ID system, suggesting on its website a variety of ambitious use cases, including distinguishing people from artificial intelligence bots.

Regulators around the world, particularly in European countries, have expressed concern that the database could be misused.

(Reporting by Manya Saini and Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Mrigank Dhaniwala)

  • Published On May 24, 2024 at 11:00 AM IST

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