KENYA: Members of Parliament Blame State Agencies of Laxity in Worldcoin Data Collection Saga

KENYA: Members of Parliament Blame State Agencies of Laxity in Worldcoin Data Collection Saga

Members of Parliament (MPs) have accused different state agencies of laxity in the wake of the cryptocurrency project, Worldcoin. The legislators convened on August 3rd to discuss the matter, lauding the State’s move to ban Worldcoin operations amid data privacy concerns.

However, the primary blame points towards state agencies, claiming they should have done due diligence to avert unchecked data mining by the controversial company.

A Call for Comprehensive Audit

During a plenary sitting on August 3rd, the Members of Parliament drawn from across the political divide called for a comprehensive audit into the operations of Worldcoin. They also demanded that those responsible for the company’s registration and allowing the equipment into the country be brought to book.

Earlier on August 2nd, Hon. John Mukunji, MP, Manyatta, had sought a statement from the Cabinet Secretaries (CSs), Interior, and Ministry of ICT on the foreign data collection by Worldcoin.

Based on the report, Worldcoin is not a legal entity in the country. Additionally, the company hired a company in Kenya, Sense Marketing, to capture data for them in the country.

The Ministry of Interior and National Administration, under CS Kithure Kindiki, states that the company has two local representatives of Worldcoin, Emmanuel Otieno and Rael Mwende, who have been interrogated by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) since August 2nd.

However, the ministry cites that the company is registered as a data controller and was awarded a certificate on April 18, 2023.

Even though the company is registered, Members of Parliament did not spare the questions surrounding the entity.

“It is interesting that the founder of Worldcoin is from the USA, where the project has been banned. The owners are now taking advantage of unemployed youth to lure them into illegal data mining,”

Martha Wangari – MP, Gilgil Constituency

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei wondered how the company’s equipment used to scan Kenyans iris’ made it through the airport without knowing customs.

The MPs want Kenyans to remain vigilant of such activities to protect their data privacy.

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