Kenyan Data Regulator Warns Residents Against Worldcoin
The Kenyan Office of Data Protection has warned citizens to be vigilant about the use of their data amidst scrambles to register their identity with Worldcoin.
By Anna B Kiwanuka
The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) in Kenya has raised concerns over Worldcoin’s “free” token distribution in the country. In a Twitter statement, the ODPC urged Kenyan residents to exercise increased vigilance when dealing with Worldcoin’s activities, ensuring they understand the data protection implications.
According to the data regulator, the Kenyan protection data law gives the ODPC the authority to conduct assessments or request information which helps it ascertain if Worldcoin is adhering to the law.
The ODPC added, “As the ODPC conducts its assessment of Worldcoin’s practices to ensure compliance with the law, Kenyans are urged to ensure they receive proper information before disclosing any personal or sensitive data. Individuals are advised to thoroughly inquire about how their data will be used.”
In the same statement, Kenya’s Data Commissioner, Immaculate Kassait is quoted warning of the consequences for the token recipients and issuers should the ODPC fail to ensure Worldcoin and others’ compliance with the law.
Reports of residents eagerly participating in Worldcoin’s token distribution, getting their eyeballs scanned at Quickmart supermarket chain outlets in Nairobi, have triggered the regulator’s investigation. While some received 25 WLD tokens, there are concerns about potential scams, with recipients converting the tokens into USDT and eventually Kenyan shillings.
Some of the young Kenyans who rushed to get their eyeballs scanned only did so after learning of the opportunity to get easy money via the WLD tokens.
“I was here by 5 am because there has been a lot of talk on Tik Tok and Instagram about the free money Worldcoin is giving all those who download their app and subscribe, we are for the iris scanner so that we can be sorted,” Brian Mwangi, one of the WLD token recipients, stated.
The Kenyan data regulator’s vigilance follows the French National Commission for Informatics and Liberty’s (CNIL) inquiry into Worldcoin’s practices. It is crucial for users to be cautious and well-informed when engaging with any cryptocurrency offerings.