Hong Kong Launches Probe into Worldcoin’s Privacy Practices

    Hong Kong authorities launch an investigation into Worldcoin's local operations, citing serious risks to personal data privacy. The probe raises questions about the lawful collection of biometric data, adding to the global scrutiny faced by Worldcoin.

    • Privacy Investigation: Hong Kong’s PCPD initiates an inquiry into Worldcoin’s local operations.
    • Data Privacy Risks: PCPD expresses concerns over serious risks to personal data privacy associated with Worldcoin’s activities.
    • Warrant Execution: PCPD executes warrants, enters six Worldcoin-controlled premises in Hong Kong for investigation.
    • Biometric Data Warning: Hong Kong residents cautioned about potential risks to their biometric data and urged to consider implications.
    • Sensitive Data Processing: PCPD questions the collection and processing of sensitive personal data, suggesting possible contravention of privacy laws.

    Privacy Concerns Surround Worldcoin in Hong Kong

    In a recent development, Hong Kong’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) has launched an investigation into Worldcoin’s local operations, citing significant concerns regarding personal data privacy. The PCPD executed warrants and entered six premises controlled by Worldcoin in Hong Kong as part of the ongoing inquiry. Residents are warned about potential risks to their biometric data, emphasizing the need for careful consideration.

    Legal Scrutiny and Privacy Risks

    The PCPD expresses apprehension that Worldcoin’s operations may pose serious risks to personal data privacy, suggesting possible non-compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. The commission emphasizes that any personal data controlled by Worldcoin must serve a lawful purpose related to the project’s function. Furthermore, the sensitivity of information collected from users’ irises adds complexity to the regulatory scrutiny.

    Global Attention and User Base

    Worldcoin, launched in 2021, garnered substantial attention with over 2 million sign-ups before its official launch in July 2023. However, regulatory concerns have led to service suspensions in Kenya and a pause in iris scans in India. With over 5 million people creating accounts by December 2023, Worldcoin faces growing scrutiny over its privacy practices.

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