Skip to content

Privacy at risk? Worldcoin to open its ID system to governments and companies

Privacy at risk? Worldcoin to open its ID system to governments and companies

Following the hype that saw hundreds of housands of willing participants lining up to have their eyeballs scanned by ‘the Orb’ gadget, courtesy of Worldcoin (WLD), a blockchain-based digital project co-created by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, which has created the artificial intelligence (AI) tool ChatGPT, some privacy concerns have arisen.

As it happens, Ricardo Macieira, the general manager for Europe at Tools For Humanity – the company that is behind the Worldcoin project, said that the ultimate goal was to build an infrastructure that would allow deployment of the technology by third parties, Reuters reported on August 2.

According to Macieira, companies could pay Worldcoin to use its digital identity system. For instance, a coffee shop that wants to give everyone a free cup of coffee could use it to ensure people do not claim more than one cup without the shop needing to gather personal data.

“The idea is that as we build this infrastructure is that we allow other third parties to use the technology.”

Furthermore, the company plans to make the iris-scanning orb technology open-source, which would allow anyone to “build their own orb and use it to benefit the community that it’s aiming for,” as Macieira highlighted. However, he also said that the company was not interested in generating universal basic income itself, specifying that:

“If we can do the infrastructure that allows for governments or other entities to do so we would be very happy.”

Privacy in danger?

Meanwhile, privacy concerns have started to mount, coming from regulators, privacy campaigners, and cryptocurrency stakeholders alike, prompting investigations into the crypto project’s collection of individuals’ iris data, as well as the security and data protection risks.

Indeed, the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision said it had started investigating Worldcoin as early as November 2022 due to concerns about its large-scale processing of sensitive data, looking into whether its system is “safe and stable,” as it “requires very, very ambitious security measures and lots of explanations and transparency.”

Recently, the Interior Ministry of Kenya has issued an official statement on its Facebook page announcing the suspension of Worldcoin’s operations in the country “until relevant agencies in Kenya establish there are no risks to the general public,” as Finbold reported on August 2.

Interestingly, Twitter/X co-founder Jack Dorsey reacted to Altman’s post showing people lining up to have their irises scanned, indicating his dislike and concerns with the project, as well as the sheer size of the army of enthusiastic participants. Earlier, Dorsey had made an ominous comment on the project’s launch, saying: “visit the Orb or the Orb will visit you.”

On top of that, Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has also argued that it could lead to “unavoidable privacy leaks, further erosion of people’s ability to navigate the internet anonymously, coercion by authoritarian governments, and the potential impossibility of being secure.”

In the meantime, the price of the WLD token has reached $2.27, demonstrating a decline of 1.57% on the day but still an increase of 3.66% across the previous week and a 36.28% gain since its launch, according to the data retrieved from the crypto market monitoring platform CoinMarketCap on August 4.

Best Crypto Exchange for Intermediate Traders and Investors

  • Invest in 70+ cryptocurrencies and 3,000+ other assets including stocks and precious metals.

  • 0% commission on stocks - buy in bulk or just a fraction from as little as $10. Other fees apply. For more information, visit

  • Copy top-performing traders in real time, automatically.

  • eToro USA is registered with FINRA for securities trading.

30+ million Users
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs, only real Crypto assets available. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

Read Next:

Weekly Finance Digest

By subscribing you agree with Finbold T&C’s & Privacy Policy

Related posts