Worldcoin says it’s legal in all countries it operates in despite Spanish ban

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Worldcoin operates “lawfully in all of the locations in which it is available” and is designed to fully comply with related laws, the firm said.

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Worldcoin says it’s legal in all countries it operates in despite Spanish ban

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The global digital identity and cryptocurrency project, Worldcoin, has made new statements on its operations and compliance amid growing legal uncertainty in Spain.

Worldcoin took to its blog on March 18 to publish “Essential facts about Worldcoin,” providing basic information about its operations, rules and regulations.

In the blog post, Worldcoin stressed that it operates “lawfully in all of the locations in which it is available” and is designed to be fully compliant with all laws and regulations governing data collection and data transfer.

Worldcoin referred to a more detailed post about regulatory compliance from January, mentioning that the project complies with major global data protection frameworks like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and Argentina’s Personal Data Protection Act.

The list of Worldcoin’s supervisory authorities. Source: Worldcoin

Worldcoin does not allow minors to join the platform, the new post mentioned, adding that each user must confirm in the World App that they are over 18 years old before verifying at an Orb.

The Worldcoin Foundation also emphasized that it and its contributor, Tools for Humanity, have “never sold, do not sell and will never sell any personal data, including biometric data.”

Worldcoin stressed that World ID and World App are “fully self-custodial,” meaning that no one but the owner would ever be holding information like the name, email address, phone number and other personal data.

“The orb’s hardware is equipped with diverse, highly-advanced security features designed to ensure that data is secure and cannot be accessed by anyone unauthorized to do so,” the blog post noted.

Related: Data privacy and security concerns worry nearly half of tech industry consumers: Report

Worldcoin’s blog post came amid the ongoing uncertainty about the platform’s operations in Spain. In early March, the Spanish Agency for the Protection of Data ordered Worldcoin to stop collecting and processing data in the country, issuing a temporary ban on its operations.

The firm subsequently failed to defend its operations in Spain as a local court declined its injunction against the data regulator.

Founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Worldcoin is an open-source protocol aiming to enable digital identification and ownership for each person on Earth.

Officially launched in July 2023, Worldcoin faced pushback from global regulators amid concerns over data privacy and protection.

In August 2023, Worldcoin was banned in Kenya, with the government halting all local activity associated with the platform, including biometric identification. A few months later, Worldcoin said that it was working with the Kenyan government to resume operations in 2024.

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