South Korea Investigates Worldcoin Over Personal Data Concerns

South Korea’s Personal Information Protection Commission has initiated an investigation into the Worldcoin project following complaints regarding its handling of personal data. The investigation focuses on Worldcoin’s practice of scanning individuals’ irises in exchange for cryptocurrency and its procedures for collecting, processing, and potentially transferring sensitive personal information overseas.

In an official statement, the regulator emphasized its commitment to enforcing local privacy regulations and pledged to take appropriate measures if any breaches are identified. Worldcoin has been actively collecting data on individuals’ faces and irises at multiple locations across South Korea since the start of the investigation.

This is not the first time South Korean authorities have intervened in privacy-related matters. Last year, the Personal Information Protection Commission fined OpenAI, founded by Worldcoin CEO Sam Altman, for leaking personal information of South Korean citizens through ChatGPT.

Worldcoin, positioning itself as an identity-focused cryptocurrency project, utilizes an Orb device to scan individuals’ irises for verification, rewarding participants with WLD tokens. Concerns about the project’s unconventional registration process have also been raised in other jurisdictions, including Hong Kong.