Gov't urges caution as Kenyans rush to sign up for WorldCoin
In a statement on Friday, Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait called for increased vigilance as the public signs up for WorldCoin which involves scanning of one's eyeballs through an orb in exchange for a digital ID and the promise of free cryptocurrency.
This mode of data collection by WorldCoin, a project by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has been heavily criticised over privacy concerns but the company's website says the project is "completely private" and that data is deleted or a user can opt to have it stored in encrypted form.
"The ODPC is aware that WorldCoin has now been launched and is processing sensitive personal data in a manner that requires a demonstration of proper safeguards under the Data Protection Act, 2019," reads the statement.
"As the ODPC conducts its assessment of WorldCoin's practices to ensure compliance with the law, Kenyans are urged to ensure that they receive proper information before disclosing any personal or sensitive data. Individuals are advised to thoroughly inquire about how their data will be used."
But even with the privacy concerns, many Kenyans seem unmoved by it and hundreds have been seen lining up to have their iris' scanned.
After scanning their eyes, a user gets a unique number and then gets 25 free Worldcoin tokens, which are worth about $2 (Ksh.284) each for a total of about Ksh.7,000.
According to WorldCoin, over 2,106,468 people have registered across 34 countries.
ODPC said it is conducting assessments to ascertain whether personal data is processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
"The ODPC is committed to ensuring that entities processing personal data in Kenya comply with the Data Protection Act, 2019," reads the statement.
"The office will continue to engage with organizations to promote compliance with the law and protect the privacy of Kenyans."
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