As Worldcoin’s World ID Grows, So Do Privacy Concerns
Spain is leading Europe’s adoption of Worldcoin’s proof-of-personhood (PoP) protocol. Dubbed World ID, it has already amassed a staggering 150,000 registrations.
This global identity protocol is increasingly gaining traction with its ambition to expand the frontiers of artificial intelligence (AI). However, the promise of a future where online users can authenticate their unique human identities is not without its risks.
World ID Records 20,000 New Users Per Month
Since Worldcoin introduced World ID to Madrid in 2022, the service has grown exponentially. It is attracting an average of over 20,000 new users monthly, which has made Spain the fastest-growing market in the European Union.
World ID aims to provide an AI-safe proof-of-personhood credential. The goal is to enable people to digitally prove their uniqueness and humanity.
Worldcoin’s presence in Spain continues to grow, now including Barcelona. A new selection of Worldcoin Operator locations throughout the city will feature the Orb, the first custom biometric imaging device developed by Tools for Humanity (TFH).
Despite the impressive uptake of World ID, Worldcoin has been subject to criticism, particularly on privacy grounds.
Is Worldcoin Safe? Spectators Grows Concerned
Since the project’s unveiling in June 2021, it has been accused of posing risks to privacy. Skeptics have expressed concerns about the potential misuse of biometric data, the use of zero-knowledge proof technology, and the future implications of quantum computing.
MIT Technology Review conducted numerous interviews with participants involved in the initial Worldcoin onboarding process. The conclusions drawn from their findings were decidedly unfavorable.
“Our investigation revealed wide gaps between Worldcoin’s public messaging, which focused on protecting privacy, and what users experienced. We found that the company’s representatives used deceptive marketing practices, collected more personal data than it acknowledged, and failed to obtain meaningful informed consent.”
In response, Worldcoin has been keen to emphasize its privacy-preserving approach. It insisted that scans are immediately deleted unless users choose to share their data.
Worldcoin’s ambitious project culminates in the upcoming launch of the Worldcoin token. In return for their data, users will receive Worldcoin tokens via an airdrop. Worldcoin plans to give these token holders governance rights, allowing them to influence the future of the project.
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