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Worldcoin Challenges Spanish Ban as Iris Scan Project Clashes with Privacy Watchdog

Last Updated March 11, 2024 9:59 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated March 11, 2024 9:59 AM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • The iris scanning project is suing Spain’s data protection agency (AEPD) for halting its operations in Spain.
  • Worldcoin claims the AEPD overstepped its authority and bypassed GDPR procedures with the ban.
  • While Spain pauses Worldcoin ID verification, the digital wallet remains accessible and the legal fight continues.

Worldcoin has lodged a formal complaint  regarding the actions of the AEPD, Spain’s personal data protection agency.

Tools For Humanity, the entity responsible for Worldcoin, contends that the AEPD bypassed established protocols under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when implementing bans against the project.

Worldcoin Challenges Spanish Regulators Over GDPR Compliance

Worldcoin, a project centered on validating individual identities, is confronting regulatory hurdles  in Spain.

The company is contesting  the AEPD’s order to halt operations and delete data collected from Spanish users for verification purposes. Worldcoin says that these measures are unlawful, arguing they bypass the processes set forth by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Tools For Humanity Challenges AEPD’s Authority Under GDPR

According to the company, under GDPR guidelines, the authority to oversee data protection issues rests with the agency in the region of the company’s incorporation.

 

For Tools For Humanity, this authority is identified as the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision (BayLDA). The company claims the AEPD’s actions exceed its regulatory boundaries.

According to  the company:

“It is unfortunate that the Spanish data protection authority (AEPD) is circumventing established procedures under GDPR with their actions today, which are limited to Spain and not the broader EU.”

Legal Operations Amid BayLDA Audit

Jannick Preiwisch, the data protection officer for the Worldcoin Foundation, emphasized  that Tools For Humanity had lawfully conducted its activities under the supervision of the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision (BayLDA).

The organization has responded to the institution’s queries. It is currently undergoing an audit by BayLDA. The results should be announced shortly.

Despite deeming the Spanish ban unlawful, Tools For Humanity has temporarily halted its World ID verification services, including biometric scans, within the country. However, the project’s digital wallet services, offered through the World App, continue to be accessible to users in Spain.

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