Hong Kong privacy watchdog investigates Worldcoin over data privacy concerns

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Hong Kong has launched an investigation into the id verification challenge Worldcoin, highlighting potential extreme dangers to private information privateness.

On Jan. 31, Hong Kong’s Workplace of the Privateness Commissioner for Private Information (PCPD) announced that it had carried out raids on six premises related to Worldcoin in Hong Kong, looking for paperwork and knowledge associated to its operations.

The probe facilities on Worldcoin’s use of iris-scanning know-how, which the fee fears might contravene the private information (privateness) ordinance’s stipulations on dealing with delicate private information.

Worldcoin’s methodology entails orbs that scan customers’ irises to confirm their identities, a course of that has raised considerations over the safety and use of biometric information.

Ada Chung Lai-ling, Hong Kong’s privateness commissioner for private information, urged the general public to be cautious about sharing delicate private data, particularly by actions like iris scanning. The PCPD’s investigation goals to safeguard the privateness of Hong Kong residents by guaranteeing compliance with native information safety legal guidelines.

The fee additionally supplied steering for people contemplating offering their biometric information, emphasizing the significance of understanding the information assortment’s legitimacy, scope, function, and meant use. It highlighted the necessity for readability on information disclosure, switch, retention durations, and the safety measures in place to guard this delicate data.

Worldcoin asserts that the biometric information collected by its orbs is processed regionally after which completely deleted, with zero-knowledge proofs employed to guard consumer privateness additional.

Zero-knowledge proofs are a type of know-how that, for instance, can confirm somebody’s authorized consuming age with out disclosing their date of start or another private particulars.

Regardless of its modern strategy to digital id verification, Worldcoin has faced challenges, together with the current discontinuation of its Orb verification providers in India, Brazil, and France.

As of December 2023, Worldcoin reported that over 5 million folks had created accounts utilizing the platform. The challenge’s expansion into Singapore and its presence in varied areas worldwide point out a rising curiosity in digital id options, albeit accompanied by privateness considerations and regulatory scrutiny.

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