Kenya recorded 350,000 WorldCoin subscriptions, the highest number of subscriptions out of thirty-four countries, new details show.
In addition, the Office of the Director of Computer and Cyber Crime has reportedly revealed to a parliamentary committee that since November 2022, the cryptocurrency firm engaged 11 companies in Kenya.
The National Assembly Ad-hoc Committee of Inquiry into the activities and operations of Worldcoin in Kenya has today kicked off its investigations with a meeting with the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee, at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. pic.twitter.com/NCDgdwnrF8
— National Assembly KE (@NAssemblyKE) August 29, 2023
This was revealed by the Office of the Director of Computer and Cyber Crime at a parliament hearing adding that the American firm recruited agents who were deployed across thirty stations in Nairobi to scan and collect iris data for transmission.
According to David Njoka, the Head of Cyber-security Standards and Policy from the Office of the Director of Computer and Cyber Crime in Kenya:
“A week after the launch of WorldCoin cryptocurrency on 22nd of July, they announced that they have registered over 350,000 Kenyans and in terms of the numbers of data registered globally. Kenyans amounted to around 25 percent which is something of concern.”
During his testimony to the Members of Parliament, Njoka revealed that the WorldCoin Project had communicated that the data would be stored on Amazon Web Services located in the United States. This raised concerns about data sovereignty and potential risks associated with storing data outside of the country.
“From our interviews, they mentioned that the data was transferred to the Amazon servers based in the U.S. They had indicated that the data is secure but that needs deeper investigations,” Njoka stated.
WorldCoin conducted its operations through local representatives in the country. These representatives entered into legal agreements with their respective local companies, namely Platinum De Plus Limited, EXP Kenya, and Sense Marketing.
Njoka highlighted that due to the user verification process involving iris scans, WorldCoin potentially gained access to sensitive data. The security of this data remains uncertain, even as investigations continue.
“They dont have a physical office, I think they need to be investigated for doing what they were doing without necessary approvals,” he said.
“A multi international company coming to Kenya to allege to be conducting research involving sensitive information and they wanted the data to be able to train their model in the artificial intelligence platform, they did this without having due approvals given to them,” Njoka explained.
WorldCoin activities were suspended in Kenya after hundreds thronged multiple venues to receive free 25 $WLD tokens worth about Ksh. 7,786 ($54.60) at the time following the scanning of their biometric information.