Kenya Halts Worldcoin Investigation, Mandates Legal Registration for Sam Altman

As per Worldcoin’s official page, there are over 5.7 million unique humans on Worldcoin as of Thursday, June 20.

Kenya Halts Worldcoin Investigation, Mandates Legal Registration for Sam Altman

Photo Credit: Reuters

Worldcoin aims to provide blockchain-based universal proof-of-personhood to humans called ‘World IDs’

  • Worldcoin is the brainchild of OpenAI’s Sam Altman
  • Worldcoin is under investigation in Germany and South Korea among others
  • Worldcoin collects eye scans of the people looking to obtain World IDs

Sam Altman's controversial Worldcoin project is no longer under investigation in Kenya. An official notice issued by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Kenya has claimed that an array of allegations related to Worldcoin's user data collection were ‘expeditiously and objectively' investigated. The file of this case has now been shut with the police being directed to take no further action against the Web3 project. As per Worldcoin's official page, there are over 5.7 million unique humans on Worldcoin as of Thursday, June 20.

Kenya Lacks Reasoning Over Worldcoin's Probe Suspension

Kenya's decision comes across as abrupt because the DCI has not exactly given a reason why investigation on Worldcoin is being brought to a halt. The final decision was taken by Renson M. Ingonga, Kenya's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who has been serving as the chair since September 2023.

As per DCI's notice, “the resultant investigation file was forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for an independent review and advice. Upon review of the file, the Director of Public Prosecutions concurred and directed that the file be closed with no further police action.”

Screenshots of DCI's notice are circulating on social media.

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

As a mark of human identity, Worldcoin officials were collecting eye scans through an in-house device called the Orb – which raised concerns around user data privacy in many countries. What remains unclear for now is if Kenya has given a green flag to Worldcoin operations by shutting probe over it. This may impact the ongoing investigations into the project in other nations like South Korea, Germany, and Brazil. The project had faced scrutiny in India also last year and had to halt its iris scanning process.

Kenya releases instructions for WorldCoin

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

As per a CoinTelegraph report, Tools for Humanity, the foundation behind the Worldcoin initiative, is glad about this development.

“This welcome result is, however, not an end but a beginning. We will continue working with the government of Kenya and others and we hope to resume World ID registration across the country soon,” the report quoted Thomas Scott, chief legal officer at the Tools for Humanity as commenting on the development.

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Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at More
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