Gov’t conducting forensic analysis of all Worldcoin gadgets used in Kenya - CS Kindiki

Gov’t conducting forensic analysis of all Worldcoin gadgets used in Kenya - CS Kindiki

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki appears before the Senate Ad Hoc committee inquiring about the Worldcoin project on September 14, 2023. | @KindikiKithure/X

The government is conducting a forensic analysis of the hardware components of OpenAI that the American Artificial Intelligence company used to collect data from Kenyans for its Worldcoin cryptocurrency project.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said this on Thursday when he appeared before the Senate Ad Hoc committee inquiring about the now-suspended crypto project.

The security minister said forty-eight Orbs, electronic gadgets and assorted merchandise used in the project were recovered from Tools for Humanity agents.

Tools For Humanity is the Germany-based global hardware and software company that led the initial development of the Worldcoin protocol.

“The National Security agencies have also recovered assorted documents and recorded twenty-six statements from witnesses and other persons of interest and are currently being analysed. The investigations will be expedited in consideration of the public interest and national security concerns, and those found culpable shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” Prof Kindiki said.

The crypto project was suspended in Kenya on August 2 over data security concerns amid a hysterical uptake as Kenyans scanned their eyeballs with the Worldcoin Orb as proof of humanity against their online identities.

Kindiki on Thursday said he had yet to be convinced that Worldcoin activities were safe because the company was operating without clearance from the government.

“Citizen data is a sovereignty issue. They harvested data here operating outside the law. I know I run the risk of being told I’m standing in the way of commerce but as a security manager, I need to know who is behind any crypto the source of their investment and who is doing what because if we allow anything that will harm the people of Kenya I will be asked,” he said.

Last week, Tools For Humanity (TFH) revealed they had been scanning people’s irises in Nairobi and other Kenyan urban centres since 2021 when they were piloting the project.

“Prior to July 24th, we have been providing proof of humanness verification since 2021. We were located in more than 20 locations in the city, including malls; The Hub, Sarit Centre, Imaara Mall and elsewhere,” Sam Sadle, the Head of Government Relations and Public Policy at TFH, told the committee.

The Worldcoin project rolled out globally on June 24. But despite its ambitions of a decentralised global currency, the project was met with privacy concerns and questions about the security of the biodata the company was collecting from Kenyans.

This was heightened by the fact that new members were getting 25 free cryptocurrency tokens after the verification process, valued at Ksh.8,256 at the time.

The government stopped all activities associated with the crypto project until relevant agencies certify the absence of any security risks.

CS Kindiki on Thursday said the government will ensure the data collected from Kenyans is retrieved and recovered, telling senators, “By the 30th of September, we will have a preliminary output to this investigation that can satisfy this committee.


Citizen TV Citizen Digital Kithure Kindiki OpenAI Sam Altman Worldcoin Alex Blania Sam Sadle

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