Kenyan law enforcement officials raided a warehouse belonging to Worldcoin in Nairobi, seizing equipment amid an ongoing investigation into the company’s operations and data collection practices.
Kenyan law enforcement officials seized machines that they suspect contained data collected by Worldcoin from a warehouse situated on Mombasa Road, Nairobi. According to Capital News, the team transported this equipment to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters for further analysis.
It comes after the Kenyan government suspended Worldcoin’s operations and began investigating the company. Worldcoin had been scanning the irises of Kenyan residents, in exchange for 25 World tokens. But after privacy experts raised concerns that sensitive data gathered from scanning a person’s iris might get into the wrong hands, the Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki suspended the firm’s activities. It also increased the government’s scrutiny of the company.
The Worldcoin (WLD) token is eponymously named after the project Worldcoin. The project is focused on developing a World ID ecosystem using iris scans to verify the identity of users accessing financial services. World ID ensures that individuals using these services are human beings and not automated robots.
The Worldcoin project is under the leadership of an organization known as “Tools for Humanity.” This organization was co-founded by Sam Altman, the founder of Open AI. Notably, the project has attracted investments from prominent venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto arm, a16z.
Altman, who founded Open AI, which built chat bot ChatGPT, says he hopes the initiative will help confirm if someone is a human or a robot. Worldcoin says it chose Kenya as the first African country to launch the platform because of the already booming tech space, and the more than four million Kenyans who are already trading in crypto.
Per the report, Immaculate Kassait, the Data Commissioner of the Data protection office which had previously registered Worldcoin’s parent company (Tools for Humanity) as a data processor, said Tools for Humanity failed to disclose its true intentions during registration.