Worldcoin offices in Hong Kong hit by investigation by Office of the Privacy Commissioner

  • Worldcoin project’s six office premises in Hong Kong were investigated according to a court warrant. 
  • Hong Kong’s independent body PCPD proactively launched an investigation into Worldcoin citing data privacy risks. 
  • PCPD called on the public to be more vigilant about the Worldcoin project since it gathers sensitive personal data. 

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Hong Kong has investigated Sam Altman’s Worldcoin project’s six office locations. The independent body alleged “serious personal data privacy risks,” and warned users to remain vigilant about the Worldcoin project. 

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Worldcoin offices under investigation in Hong Kong

Samuel Altman’s Worldcoin project’s offices were investigated by Hong Kong’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner on Wednesday. 

Following a court order, the independent body investigated six premises in Hong Kong, located in Yau Ma Tei, Kwun Tong, Wan Chai, Cyberport, Central and Causeway Bay. The Privacy Commissioner’s office declared that its operation to investigate Worldcoin involves serious data privacy risks. Since the Worldcoin project collects sensitive personal data, it likely violates the provisions of the Privacy Ordinance. 

Chung Liling, Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data called on users to be vigilant about the project and asked citizens to carefully protect sensitive personal data and refrain from casually participating in activities that require sensitive personal data. 

The Worldcoin project has been the subject of investigations in several countries worldwide. According to data from MIT Technology Review, regulators in at least four countries have already launched investigations into the project while citing concerns with its privacy practices.

The legality of Worldcoin’s biometric data collection remains unclear. Upon registration users are offered 25 WLD tokens on completing an iris recognition test, Worldcoin says is designed to differentiate legit human users from robots. The French government has launched a probe into the project, citing concerns about the use of such biometric data. Worldcoin is also being investigated by a German data protection agency, the Information Commissioner’s Officer in the UK and Kenya’s Office of Data Protection.