TechWorld/Foreign News

Kenya Police drops investigation, Worldcoin to resume operations

Worldcoin is preparing to continue operation as Kenyan police dropped the investigation into allegations that it had illegally collected and transferred users’ data.

According to a letter issued by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and addressed to the firm’s legal team, the investigation has been “closed with no further police action.”

Meanwhile, it called on the firm to register the business officially, obtain necessary licenses, and vet its vendors “for prudent continued operations.”

“The DCI expeditiously and objectively investigated an array of allegations into the activities of Worldcoin in Kenya in 2022/3 and touching on alleged unlawful collection and transfer of personal sensitive data,” the letter reads in part.

The cryptocurrency, which is a project led by OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, has since been involved in collecting biometric data by photographing a person’s iris while promising Kenyans a reward of Sh7,000 ($52.83) and free WorldCoin tokens in exchange.

Thomas Scott, Chief Legal Officer of Worldcoin’s parent company, Tools for Humanity noted that this development is “not an end but a beginning”.

He added that the firm will continue working with the Government as it hopes to resume World ID registration nationwide soon.

“For today, we are just pleased to return our focus to advancing Worldcoin’s mission: creating opportunities for people in Kenya and elsewhere to participate in the global economy,” he acknowledged.

In August 2023, Kenya’s Ministry of Interior and National Administration suspended the activities of the crypto project assessing its potential risks to public safety.

In the same month, a lawsuit was filed by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) to prohibit it from transferring or processing data collected from Kenyans.

Subsequently, police officers raided a warehouse in Nairobi belonging to the crypto company seizing machines and documents.
In March 2024, the country reiterated its position on the suspension amid pressure from the US. Kithure Kindiki, the Interior Cabinet Secretary, said that the US believes the cryptocurrency has grounds to operate in Kenya. However, the country remains adamant and has opted against reconsidering the suspension.

(Techpoint Africa)

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