Portugal temporarily bans Worldcoin Biodiversity Collection for 90 days

Portugal’s National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) has taken strict measures to protect personal data, especially of minors, and has temporarily banned Worldcoin.

In response to a number of concerns, the CNPD on Tuesday imposed a temporary 90-day ban on Worldcoin collecting biometric data through its Orb facilities in Portugal.

CNPD issues an emergency report due to collection of biodiversity data from Worldcoin

This interim measure stems from concerns about companies collecting biometric data, including iris, eye and facial scans, without permission.

Additionally, the CNPD noted inaccuracies in the data provided and possible deletion or erasure issues regarding the data.

This decision was partly inspired by media reports that more than 300,000 people in Portugal were already providing bioinformation.

The rapid expansion of the collection, especially in commerce, raised concerns about the flow of participants. According to the GDPR, biological data falls into a special category of data that requires increased protection due to the risks involved.

Young children, who are particularly vulnerable, are entitled to special protection under European and national law.

Ongoing investigation CNPD will analyze incoming reports and take any additional steps necessary to comply with data protection regulations and mitigate potential risks.

Resolved legal uncertainties regarding Worldcoin digital project

Worldcoin, the global identity and privacy project founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has faced some uncertainty lately regarding its operations, particularly in Spain.

The situation in Spain worsened further when the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) issued an interim injunction on March 6, banning Worldcoin from collecting data in the country for three months.

AEPD expressed concerns about users’ inability to withdraw consent and accusations of collecting information from minors. Despite Worldcoin’s efforts, the local court rejected the decision to audit the data.

This development in Spain is different because Worldcoin has also faced legal action in other jurisdictions. In January 2024, the Hong Kong Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) investigated Worldcoin’s activities over concerns about privacy risks.

In addition, the Worldcoin blockchain project faced regulatory challenges in Kenya, which led to the government banning basic activities related to the site, including biometrics, in August 2023.
However, Worldcoin said it is willing to work with the Kenyan government to resume operations in 2024.

In a statement released on March 18, Worldcoin assured its partners that it operates legally wherever it is located and strives to comply with applicable laws.