The Worldcoin project has been mired in controversy, and the latest update is no different.
The Kenya parliament has launched an investigation into the controversial decentralized digital identity project, weeks after the government suspended the company’s operation.
- According to a report in The Star, the parliament has set up a 15-member committee to investigate the activities of Worldcoin.
- The committee, chaired by Member of Parliament Gabriel Tongoyo of Narok West, has 42 days to complete the investigation.
- The parliament summoned Cabinet Secretary Kindiki Kithure and his ICT counterpart, Eliud Owalo, to clarify their contradictory statements on the Worldcoin project.
- While Owalo maintains that Worldcoin remains compliant with laws, Kithure opted to suspend Worldcoin’s activities.
- Kithure mentioned that agencies are conducting inquiries and investigations to determine the authenticity and legality of Worldcoin.
- Moses Wetangula, the National Assembly Speaker, said:
“In view of the foregoing, the cabinet secretaries that were scheduled to appear tomorrow before this house will instead appear tomorrow before the committee to provide information on the matter.”
- According to Owalo, the government has been aware of Worldcoin since April and did not violate any existing Kenyan laws.
- Kithure, on the other hand, suspended Worldcoin due to concerns about security and privacy issues that need to be investigated and resolved. He said he believes that a breach of the Data Protection Act and a violation of the privacy of Kenyans might have occurred.
- Owalo mentioned during his first appearance in parliament that the government has implemented strategies to ensure safe data management.
- Worldcoin, the decentralized digital identification project, began its piloting in 2022 and was officially launched in Kenya on July 24, 2023. In the registration process, participants underwent eye-iris scanning and were rewarded with cryptocurrency.
- In response to the enthusiastic rush for sign-ups in Kenya, authorities issued several warnings, urging Kenyans to comprehend how their data would be utilized before joining.
- A few weeks later, the Kenyan Ministry of Interior and National Administration issued a directive to suspend all of Worldcoin’s activities within Kenya while the government conducts its investigations.
- On August 5, Kenyan police raided the company’s warehouse in Nairobi and seized several pieces of equipment and documents.