Tech & Gadgets

Kenya ends investigation into Worldcoin, demands legal registration for Sam Altman

Sam Altman’s controversial Worldcoin project is no longer under investigation in Kenya. An official notice from Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) claims that a series of allegations relating to Worldcoin’s collection of user data have been “expeditiously and objectively” investigated. The case file has now been closed and police have been instructed not to take any further action against the Web3 project. According to Worldcoin’s official page, as of Thursday, June 20, there are over 5.7 million unique people on Worldcoin.

Kenya has no grounds for suspension of investigation into Worldcoin

Kenya’s decision comes as a surprise as the DCI did not provide a precise reason for dropping its investigation into Worldcoin. The final decision was made by Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson M. Ingonga, who has been the chair since September 2023.

According to the DCI notice, “the resulting investigation file was forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for an independent review and recommendation. After reviewing the file, the Director of Public Prosecutions agreed and ordered the file closed without further police action.”

Screenshots of DCI’s announcement are circulating on social media.

Kenya was the first country in the world to bring Worldcoin under the scanner last year. The project aims to provide blockchain-based universal proof-of-personhood to people, called ‘World IDs’. By giving people this unique identity, Worldcoin aims to eliminate the need for people to provide their personal details to interact with bots and the web.

As a sign of human identity, Worldcoin officials collected eye scans via an internal device called the Orb, which has raised concerns in many countries about the privacy of user data. What remains unclear is whether Kenya has given a green flag to Worldcoin activities by closing its investigation into it. This could have implications for ongoing investigations into the project in other countries such as South Korea, Germany and Brazil. The project also came under scrutiny in India last year and was forced to halt its iris scanning process.

Kenya publishes instructions for WorldCoin

The Kenyan authorities have decided to officially invite Worlcoin to legally register in the country. Registering with the Registrar of Business register, along with obtaining licenses from the Office of the Data Protection Commission (ODPC) and the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK), are the immediate steps that Kenya has instructed the Worldcoin team to take.

According to a CoinTelegraph ReportTools for Humanity, the foundation behind the Worldcoin initiative, is pleased with this development.

“However, this welcome outcome is not an end, but a beginning. We continue to work with the Government of Kenya and others and hope to resume World ID registration across the country soon,” the report said, with Thomas Scott, Chief Legal Officer at Tools for Humanity, commenting on the development.

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