Worldcoin tightens privacy checks, allows users to unverify World ID

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, is enhancing Worldcoin – the digital identity and cryptocurrency initiative he leads – with fresh updates. These enhancements aim to bolster privacy by strengthening personal data security and refining age verification procedures.

Starting from April 9, Worldcoin introduced two significant changes: Users can permanently delete their iris codes to opt out of their World ID verification, and undergo age verification in person.

Individuals with World IDs now have the ability to deactivate this digital passport, which is used to authenticate one’s humanity through “orbs” – scanning devices that verify human eyesight.

Worldcoin tightens privacy checks, allows users to unverify World ID

Removing the verification from a World ID involves permanently eliminating the associated iris code, which is a numerical representation of an individual’s distinctive iris pattern. This iris code prevents multiple verifications for a single World ID.

After a request for deletion is made, the person’s World ID will no longer be valid. For security reasons, there will be a waiting period of six months before another verification of humanness can be processed to prevent fraudulent activities.

After the cool-down period ends, the iris codes of users will be permanently erased and cannot be retrieved again.

Consulted with privacy and security professionals, such as the Bavarian Data Protection Authority (BayLDA), during the creation of Worldcoin’s latest unverify feature.

According to the startup, BayLDA is Worldcoin’s lead supervisory authority in the European Union.

To verify human age, Worldcoin rolls out a new feature in its second update – in-person age verifications. This ensures that the platform remains accessible solely for individuals who are eighteen and above.

At all orb locations, there will be a new age verification process carried out on-site prior to World ID verification during updates. This check will be conducted by external staff before permitting entry into the venue.

A representative from Worldcoin shared with CryptoMoon that one must be at least 18 years old to receive a World ID from the company.

“Individuals have always been asked to confirm they meet this requirement in the app, similar to other apps in wide use today.”

In July 2023, Ida-Mauro Altman, founder of OpenAI, which developed the popular chatbot ChatGPT using advanced natural language processing, unveiled Worldcoin as a new initiative. The objective of Worldcoin is to create a global financial and identity system, relying on “proof of personhood” for membership.

The response to Worldcoin was varied within the community, with some expressing concerns about its centralized structure, privacy protections, and security measures.

Certain administrations have raised doubts over Worldcoin’s security and privacy. Prior to its debut, the EU supervisor of Worldcoin, BayLDA, initiated a probe based on privacy issues.

Around the end of 2023, Worldcoin temporarily halted the offline orb verification process for Indian users. They plan to restart this service again sometime in 2024.

Beginning in August 2023, the Kenyan government put a stop to all local dealings linked to Worldcoin, which included biometric identification. Worldcoin is currently collaborating with the Kenyan authorities to restart their activities.

In March 2024, Worldcoin announced that it was legally functioning and abiding by local regulations in every place where it is offered.

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2024-04-09 16:03