Kenya High Court halts Worldcoin data processing amid privacy concerns


This injunction is in response to a grievance lodged by the Kenya Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) alleging that Worldcoin had amassed substantial volumes of personal information in violation of Kenya’s data protection law. The Kenya Data Protection Commissioner filed a complaint alleging Worldcoin had gathered substantial amounts of personal data in violation of Kenya’s Data Protection Law. This injunction was issued in response. The court also ordered the DPC revoke both the first and second respondents registration certificates as data processors. The court’s order is in response claims of misrepresentation, non-disclosure, and a violation of Section 19(2) of the Data Protection Act as well as Regulations 5 & 16 of the Data Protection (Registration) (Data Controllers and Data Processing) Regulations (2021.

). In early August, the Government suspended all Worldcoin activities, citing concerns about data protection and the legality of the entire project. The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner echoed the same concerns and advised citizens to avoid engaging with the Identity Cryptosystem. It cited Worldcoin’s failure to adhere specific data protection measures mandated under the Data Protection Act. The DPC has said that this practice “borders on inducement.”

Worldcoin responded to JURIST by stating: The DPC has said this practice “borders on inducement.”

Worldcoin responded to JURIST by stating that:

The demand for Worldcoin’s proof of personhood verification services in Kenya has been overwhelming, resulting in tens of thousands of individuals waiting in lines over a three-day period to secure a World ID. Verification services were temporarily suspended out of caution and to reduce crowd volume. During this pause, Worldcoin will work with local officials and regulators to improve understanding of privacy measures, and the commitments that Worldcoin makes, not just in Kenya, but worldwide. Worldcoin remains committed to providing an inclusive, privacy-preserving, decentralized on-ramp to the global digital economy and looks forward to resuming its services in Kenya while working closely with local regulators and other stakeholders.

Parallel to these developments, Kenya’s

has formed a parliamentary committee comprising 15 lawmakers to undertake a thorough investigation of Worldcoin’s activities. The committee will submit its findings to the Parliament by September 28th, 2023.