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Worldcoin Faces 90-Day Suspension in Portugal Over Data Privacy Concerns

Worldcoin Faces 90-Day Suspension in Portugal Over Data Privacy Concerns

Key Takeaways

  • Portugal's CNPD has placed a temporary ban on Worldcoin's collection of biometric data due to concerns over privacy and the protection of personal information, especially among minors.
  • Worldcoin, led by OpenAI's co-founder Sam Altman, utilizes Orb devices to scan users' irises for creating unique digital IDs and issuing crypto.
  • The CNPD's action reflects a wider pattern of regulatory obstacles Worldcoin encounters globally.

Portugal's National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) has implemented a temporary ban on Worldcoin's biometric data collection practices.

This decision, primarily focused on safeguarding citizen rights, underscores the growing concerns over digital privacy and the handling of sensitive personal information.

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Led by Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, Worldcoin aims to revolutionize digital identity verification by scanning users' irises with Orb devices, granting them a unique digital ID and rewarding them with crypto.

However, this approach has now faced regulatory scrutiny in Portugal, leading to a 90-day halt of Worldcoin's activities in the country, according to the CNPD's recent announcement.

This suspension follows the CNPD's ongoing investigation into Worldcoin's data practices, initiated on March 8, in response to numerous reports concerning the unauthorized collection of minors' data.

A translated statement by the commission highlights:

Given the current circumstances, in which the processing of minors' biometric data is unlawful, coupled with potential violations of other GDPR rules, the CNPD considered that the risk to citizens' fundamental rights is high, justifying urgent intervention to prevent serious or irreparable damage.

Paula Meira Lourenço, the president of the CNPD, emphasized the necessity of this action to protect the public interest and the rights of the younger population.

The CNPD's decision is part of a broader trend of regulatory challenges for Worldcoin in countries around the globe, with its suspension in Kenya and investigation in Argentina faced in 2023.

These regulatory obstacles underscore the delicate balance between technological innovation and privacy rights, a theme increasingly prevalent in the global discourse on digital identity and cryptocurrency.

Aaron S., Editor-In-Chief
Having completed a Master’s degree in Economics, Politics, and Cultures of the East Asia region, Aaron has written scientific papers analyzing the differences between Western and Collective forms of capitalism in the post-World War II era.
With close to a decade of experience in the FinTech industry, Aaron understands all of the biggest issues and struggles that crypto enthusiasts face. He’s a passionate analyst who is concerned with data-driven and fact-based content, as well as that which speaks to both Web3 natives and industry newcomers.
Aaron is the go-to person for everything and anything related to digital currencies. With a huge passion for blockchain & Web3 education, Aaron strives to transform the space as we know it, and make it more approachable to complete beginners.
Aaron has been quoted by multiple established outlets, and is a published author himself. Even during his free time, he enjoys researching the market trends, and looking for the next supernova.

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