Government suspends ‘Worldcoin’ activities in Kenya, commences investigations

Registering for Worldcoin through iris scanning./COURTESY

The government has suspended any ‘World Coin’ activity in the country.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said the government has commenced investigations to establish the authenticity of World Coin activities in the country.

“The Government is concerned by the ongoing activities of an organization calling itself ‘WORLD COIN’ which is involved in the registration of citizens through collection of eyeball/iris data,” said CS Kindiki in a statement.

“Relevant security, financial services and data protection agencies have commenced inquiries and investigations to establish the authenticity and the legality of the aforesaid activities, the safety and protection of the data being harvested, and how the harvesters intend to use the data,” he added.

The government has now suspended forthwith activities of the iris biometric cryptocurrency project and any other entity that may be similarly engaging the people of Kenya until relevant public agencies the absence of any risks to the public.

“Appropriate action will be taken on any natural or juristic person who furthers, aids, abets or otherwise engages in or is connected with activities afore-described,” said Kindiki.

Meanwhile, ICT CS Eliud Owalo has said Worldcoin is operating in the country legally.

Speaking during an interview with ntv, Owalo said the government was aware of the company’s operations in the country and that they had sought clearance months before the Worldcoin registration process began last week.

“There could be security and regulatory issues around it which we need to improve, but as far as the Data Act is concerned, they were acting within the law,” Owalo said.