BlockchainNews

Worldcoin responds to Kenya suspension, says it’s pausing its activities


Worldcoin Kenya Suspension: Worlcoin has responded to Wednesday’s decision by the Kenyan government to suspend its operations over security and privacy concerns. 

Interior Secretary Kithure Kindiki announced the suspension after days of long queues at KICC and other data collection points (Orbs) in Nairobi that raised concerns. 

The project which was co-founded by Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI and Alex Blanca went live globally this week and has seen users flock the orbs to be issued with the tokens worth about Ksh.7,000 ($45). However, users are only issued with the tokens once they approve that they’re actually humans and not robots by getting their eye’s unique iris pattern scanned.

In a statement, the company has announced that it will be pausing its verification process in the country temporarily. 

‘Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to mitigate crowd volume, verification services have been temporarily paused.’’ the statement reads. 

‘’During the pause, the team will develop an onboarding program that encompasses more robust crowd control measures and work with local authorities to increase understanding of the privacy measures and commitments Worldcoin implements not only in Kenya but everywhere.’’ The statement further reads. 

Worldcoin says its demand in Kenya has been overwhelming and inspiring, resulting in tens of thousands of individuals waiting in lines over a three-day period to secure a World ID.

Interior CS while announcing the suspension said authorities were concerned by the project and have launched investigations to ascertain the safety and protection of the data being harvested, and how the harvesters intend to use the data. Worldcoin however says it remains committed to providing an inclusive, privacy-preserving, decentralized on-ramp to the global digital economy and looks forward to resuming its services in Kenya while working closely with local regulators and other stakeholders. 

Additionally, the company says the project is committed to adhering to all relevant regulations set forth by Kenyan authorities, ensuring a safe and compliant ecosystem.

‘’In line with Kenyan laws and regulations, Worldcoin ensures full compliance and transparency in all its activities within the country. The project is committed to fostering a constructive dialogue with local stakeholders, including the government and relevant authorities, to ensure a smooth and mutually beneficial partnership,’’ it says

‘’We aim to engage in an open and transparent dialogue to address any concerns and collectively ensure a thriving digital economy in Kenya.’’ 

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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