Worldcoin to take legal action against Spain’s data protection regulator

Iris-scanning crypto project ordered to immediately stop collecting personal information in the country

Orb, Worldcoin's biometric imaging device
Orb, Worldcoin's biometric imaging device / Worldcoin
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 8, 2024 05:12 PM

March 8, 2024 05:15 PM

Worldcoin, the company that offers cryptocurrency in exchange for iris scans, has announced its intention to take legal action against Spain's data protection regulator (AEPD). 

The announcement comes after the AEPD on Wednesday ordered Worldcoin to immediately cease operations in Spain due to privacy concerns. 

The cryptocurrency project, led by the company Tools for Humanity Corporation, argues that the AEPD's decision "circumvented the accepted EU process and rules," leaving them with "little recourse but to file suit." 

Tim Wybitul, a data privacy lawyer who is advising Worldcoin, said that AEPD's blocking of Worldcoin "violates General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements and is unlawful."  

"The situation could have been avoided if AEPD had followed the well-established legal process applicable across Europe," he added. 

Worldcoin also accused the AEPD of making "inaccurate and misleading claims" about its technology, and said it had tried to explain the project to the AEPD, but that the regulator "has not responded for months."

According to reports, more than 300,000 people have already had their irises scanned in Spain, and the Worldcoin app on the App Store became the third most downloaded free app in the country in February. 

In recent weeks, thousands of people have lined up at Worldcoin's pop-up points in Barcelona, where the company moved its European production center last summer.

Ricardo Macieira, European director of Worldcoin, explained in February that once the iris is scanned, a personal and unique digital code is generated, and the biometric data is automatically erased

Macieira emphasized that the company "complies" with European Union data protection regulations and ensures that the person has "complete control" over their information, which they can delete at any time.