• In an affidavit, Deputy Data Commissioner Oscar Otieno says they commenced an assessment of Worldcoin in May 2022.
• In the course of assessments, they suspended their operations for 60 days to ascertain the lawful basis of processing and safeguards adopted by the respondents.
The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) warns that Kenyan personal data, mined during the Worldcoin project, faces the risk of being erased and modified unless the High Court intervenes to preserve it.
These preservation orders are essential to support the ongoing investigations aimed at determining whether the processing of personal data aligns with the Data Protection Act.
The data in question, collected between April 19, 2022, and August 8 of this year, is under threat.
The Worldcoin project is described on its website as a project ‘aimed at establishing universal access to the global economy regardless of country or background. It is designed to become the world's largest human identity and financial network, giving ownership to everyone.’
The Commissioner in its court documents filed before the Milimani Law Courts says it had suspended the worldcoin project. It had issued a directive to cease processing of personal data but Tools for Humanity Corporation (WorldCoin), Tools for Humanity GmbH (WoldCoin) and Sense Marketing Limited (respondents) continued to operate.
In an affidavit, Deputy Data Commissioner Oscar Otieno says they commenced an assessment of Worldcoin in May 2022.
In the course of the assessments, they suspended their operations for 60 days to ascertain the lawful basis of processing and safeguards adopted by the respondents.
The Agency directed Worldcoin to safely restrict the processing of any data that had already been processed.
“Despite the suspension and directive to cease processing of personal data, the respondents continued to process the said personal data. It took the public directive by the CS Interior to halt their operations on August 2," Otieno said.
Article 31 of the Constitution recognizes the right to privacy.
The Commissioner argues Worldcoin is likely to tamper with, erase, or further process the personal data in a manner contrary to the Data Protection Act, thereby frustrating the investigations currently being conducted by the Agency.
“In order to conduct proper and comprehensive investigations of the worldcoin project, the agency seeks to ascertain the availability, status, and security of the Kenyan data subjects’ personal data and sensitive personal data that forms the substratum of the investigations,” the Commissioner said.
“The expeditious preservation of the personal data from vulnerable loss or modification is imperative to ensure comprehensive investigations on the processing of the personal data by the respondents in Kenya."