KENYA: Regulators Issue Joint Directive On Worldcoin


The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) have supported and affirmed the government’s directive to suspend all Worldcoin activities in the country.

According to a joint statement, the two Government agencies undertook a preliminary review following the launch of WorldCoin and have noted several “legitimate regulatory concerns of urgency”.

Issues Raised by CA and ODPC

In the joint statement, the regulatory issues raised include:

  • Lack of clarity on the security and storage of collected sensitive data (facial recognition and iris scans).
  • Obtaining consumer consent in exchange for monetary reward borders on inducement.
  • Uncertainty regarding consumer protection on cryptocurrency and related ICT services.
  • Inadequate information on cybersecurity safeguards and standards.
  • Massive citizen data in the hands of private actors without an appropriate framework.

Similar concerns have been raised in other jurisdictions including Germany, the UK, France, and India.

The statement notes that a multi-agency investigation is underway “arising from the preliminary observations”. “Consequently and as directed by the Government, the WorldCoin must cease its data collection activities in Kenya until further notice.” part of the statement reads. It further advises the public to be cautious when providing personal data to “private actors”.

Other organizations and Government agencies have also released their statement following the suspension of Worldcoin activities.

COFEK calls for a probe on all data collected by Worldcoin

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has called on the government to have all data collected by Worldcoin reviewed by forensic experts following the suspension of all Worldcoin activities in the country by the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration, Kithure Kindiki.

In a statement, Cofek’s Secretary General Stephen Mutoro commended the move by CS Kithure Kindiki. The SG has further asked that the Ministry of Interior require all data collected by Worldcoin in its verification process to be surrendered for review.

Stephen Mutoro has called for The Office of Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) to recall Worldcoin registration pending confirmation. He adds in a Twitter post, “In any case, ODPC registration should have been superseded by security checks and analyses by security and quality assurance agencies”.

Finally, the Consumer Protection Act , 2012 outlaws deceptive and misleading advertising by the highly suspect World Coin. Article 46 of the Constitution requires that those consumers signing up for World Coin are provided sufficient information for them to gain from the World Coin services.

Stephen Mutoro, Secretary General COFEK on Twitter.

Capital Markets Authority statement on Worldcoin Regulation

In a statement released today, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has notified the public that Worldcoin is not regulated in Kenya. In addition, the regulatory body has said Worldcoin-related products (including crypto-tokens or their derivatives) are not investment products within the scope of the Capital Markets Act. Consequently, the said products are not under the regulatory purview of CMA.

According to Citizen, the CS for ICT, Eliud Owalo had earlier stated that Worldcoin was operating within the legal framework as per the Data Protection Act of 2019. He further added that the company was getting the data voluntarily from Kenyans.

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