Kenyan legislative committee to suspend Worldcoin

Tuesday 3 October 2023 15:42 CET | News

A Kenyan legislative committee has recommended the termination of Worldcoin in the East African country.  

The parliamentary committee was formed in August 2023 to investigate the operations and activities of Worldcoin. Currently, it called on Kenya’s ICT regulator to disable the company’s physical and virtual presence, including blacklisting the IP addresses of related websites, until the country establishes proper regulations regarding virtual assets.

A Kenyan legislative committee has recommended the termination of Worldcoin in the East African country.


The termination’s premise

The recommendations came as a result of Kenya’s suspension of Worldcoin enrolment in the country at the beginning of August 2023. The Communications Authority of Kenya and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner showed that a preliminary review of the company’s operations raised concerns, specifically since obtaining consumer consent in return for a monetary award, this being considered inducement.  Moreover, legislators expressed issues regarding the authenticity and legality of Worldcoin’s activities in the areas of security, financial services, and data protection.

At that time, representatives from Worldcoin planned to collaborate with authorities to improve the understanding of privacy measures the company instituted in Kenya and in other regions of the world. Also, they expressed the company’s commitment to providing an inclusive, privacy-preserving, decentralised on-ramp to the global digital economy. Worldcoin wanted to resume its services in Kenya while working closely with local regulators and other stakeholders. 

The committee’s proposals 

The team of lawmakers recommended that the country should develop a comprehensive oversight framework and policies on virtual assets and service providers. In addition, they stated that this should be done within six months of the adoption of the report and submit the same data to the National Assembly to take appropriate legislative measures.

Moreover, the committee suggested that the cabinet secretary for the National Treasury consult with the relevant stakeholders to develop regulations and an enforcement infrastructure to guarantee that virtual assets and their providers are adequately regulated and monitored. Currently, the report is set to be tabled before the National Assembly for consideration and implementation.

More information on the report

The committee’s report proposed criminal investigations into the operations of Tools for Humanity, the company building Worldcoin, Tools for Humanity GmbH, its German branch, and its Kenyan partners, including Sense Marketing, and necessary legal action to be taken. It is suggested that the partners aided and abetted criminal activities. Moreover, the call for an investigation came after the committee established that Tools for Humanity and its subsidiary had violated Kenyan regulations, including the data protection law, consumer protection act, and computer misuse and cybercrimes acts.

The report also determined that Worldcoin, Tools of Humanity Corp, and Tools of Humanity GmbH were not registered businesses in Kenya, while Sense Marketing and other local partners were not listed as data processors or controllers.

Worldcoin’s review also triggered an assessment of the current legal framework in Kenya, the report recommending a requirement for full disclosure on how companies utilise and store personal and sensitive data collected in the country.  

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Keywords: cryptocurrency, crypto asset, cryptocurrency exchange, regulation, data protection, data privacy
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Companies: Worldcoin
Countries: Kenya
This article is part of category

DeFi & Crypto & Web3


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