Why was Sam Altman’s Worldcoin banned in Spain?

Why was Sam Altman's Worldcoin b. anned in Spain?


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  • Spain blocked Sam Altman’s Worldcoin, ordering it to stop collecting personal data with an eye-scanning device.
  • The AEPD, Spain’s data protection authority, demanded Worldcoin cease data operations and prove compliance within 72 hours.
  • Worldcoin aimed to offer cryptocurrency in exchange for eyeball scans to differentiate humans from AI.

Spain recently hit Worldcoin, the cryptocurrency venture owned by Sam Altman, with a ban, insisting the project stop its unique method of gathering personal data through an eye-scanning device dubbed “the orb”. This action by the AEPD, Spain’s watchdog for data protection, is a decisive move against Worldcoin’s operations within the nation. The regulator’s ultimatum demanded a complete stop to data collection and the use of already collected data.

Worldcoin, brought into existence by Altman alongside Max Novendstern and Alex Blania in 2019, ventured into the crypto industry with a proposition to offer its tokens in exchange for users allowing their eyes to be scanned by the orb. This initiative aimed at creating a foolproof system to differentiate humans from machines, especially as AI continues to blur these lines. However, the project’s approach to personal data collection has stirred controversies across various countries.

What led to this includes Worldcoin’s attempt to navigate the regulatory environment of the cryptocurrency industry. Opting out of launching its tokens in the U.S. due to strict regulatory oversight, Worldcoin also found itself excluded from major markets like China and India. Moreover, regulatory bodies in Kenya have previously shut down the project, and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office has signaled its intent to probe into Worldcoin’s practices.

Altman, meanwhile, told the Financial Times that he thinks Worldcoin might move away from its focus on cryptocurrencies in the future. Even though there were problems, the project says it has signed up about 4 million people and raised a lot of money, with $250 million coming from big names like Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, and even the criminal Sam Bankman-Fried.

The way the company works, especially its use of personal data from eye scans, has gotten a lot of attention from the media and has also caused customers in Spain to complain. These worries were raised when the Basque country’s data protection authority warned against using Worldcoin’s eye-scanning technology in a Bilbao mall.

In related developments, OpenAI, another initiative founded by Altman, has found itself at the center of a legal fight with Elon Musk. Musk’s complaint alleges OpenAI strayed from its objective. He said the company broke its pledge to share AI discoveries. Musk believes OpenAI created a profitable, close partnership with Microsoft, which invested $13 billion. He added that this collaboration made OpenAI a Microsoft subsidiary, separating it from its open-source roots.

In response to the allegations, OpenAI said that Musk had advocated for increasing donations to meet the company’s ambitious targets. To avoid appearing destitute, Musk suggested a major rise in their first funding goal from $100 million to $1 billion in 2015. While scaling its research and development, OpenAI contemplated a for-profit strategy. They said this change was necessary to further their purpose to save mankind, but Musk objected, causing an obstacle. OpenAI characterized these breakthroughs as part of their progress to overcome funding obstacles and continue developing advanced AI technology. It remains to be seen how they’re gonna resolve this.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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