The French body overseeing the protection of personal data has carried out “checks” at the Paris office of Worldcoin. The news of the French inspections comes amid heightened regulatory pressure on the cryptocurrency project co-founded by the current chief executive of Chatgpt developer Openai.
French Data Protection Agency Visits Worldcoin Office as Part of Probe
The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty of France, known by its French abbreviation, CNIL, has carried out “checks” at the Worldcoin’s office in the country’s capital this week, Reuters reported. These come when the crypto firm finds itself under increased global regulatory scrutiny.
CNIL is France’s independent watchdog tasked to ensure that the French data privacy law is applied to the collection, storage, and use of personal data. In July, it said it was investigating Worldcoin for what it describe as the “questionable” legality of its biometric data.
Worldcoin has been developed by a U.S.-German company called Tools for Humanity and founded in 2019 by Sam Altman, the CEO of Openai, the Microsoft-backed artificial intelligence (AI) research laboratory behind the AI-based chatbot Chatgpt.
The project has stirred controversy as it requires users to have their iris scanned in exchange for a digital ‘World ID’ and, in some jurisdictions, cryptocurrency as well. It claims this is done to authenticate people online and counter AI-facilitated virtual identities.
On Thursday, a CNIL spokesperson said that the “checks took place at the Worldcoin offices,” confirming an earlier report by Politico, according to which the visit was made on Wednesday. The representative of the French watchdog declined to provide more details. The Worldcoin Foundation told Reuters:
The team at Worldcoin welcomes any opportunity to address questions regarding the project’s purpose and technology.
Reacting to CNIL’s initial investigation in July, the Cayman Islands-based entity also said that Worldcoin was designed to protect individual privacy and that it had built a robust privacy program. The project was also committed to meeting requirements of regulators. According to Worldcoin’s website, it has already signed up 2.1 million people.
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