Worldcoin Project Ordered to Stop Operations in Hong Kong

In this post:

  • The Privacy Commissioner has issued an enforcement notice to the Worldcoin Foundation to cease all operations in Hong Kong.
  • Investigations revealed participants could not exercise their rights to data access and correction.
  • The PCPD concluded the Worldcoin Foundation collected personal data unfairly and unlawfully in Hong Kong.

The Worldcoin project’s operations come to an abrupt halt in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) concluded that Worldcoin operations violated the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance (PDPO).

Today, May 22nd, the Worldcoin project received an enforcement notice ordering them to stop operations in Hong Kong with immediate effect.

Also Read: Worldcoin Foundation Unveils New SMPC System, Deletes Old Iris Codes

The PCPD was always concerned that the Foundation’s activities in Hong Kong could be breaching the personal data privacy laws in the country.

Worldcoin Contravenes Data Protection Principles (DPPs)

PCPD’s investigations have found that the organization has violated privacy and personal data protection laws in Hong Kong. The Foundation’s intention to retain personal data for 10 years was deemed too long.


The lack of transparency and the unavailability of consent forms written in Chinese contributed to the decision to order the termination of the Worldcoin project in Hong Kong.

PCPD Visited Worldcoin Sites During Its Investigations

Consequent to the PCPD’s concerns, it launched an investigation into the Foundation to determine whether its operations were in accordance with Hong Kong law on the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance (PDPO).

Hong Kong Data World Coin

PCPD Visited Worldcoin Sites During Its Investigations

During the investigations, the Privacy Commissioner’s office made ten covert visits to six different Worldcoin operation sites. The visits happened over a one-month period, from December 2023 to January 2024.

Following its initial visits, the PCPD obtained a court warrant to investigate the six premises. On 31 January 2024, the PCPD returned to the six operation sites for investigations.

PCPD Reveals Investigation Findings

The findings showed that participants were required to let the Worldcoin Foundation scan and record their iris codes to generate World IDs. The foundation confirmed over 8,000 people participated in the project in Hong Kong.

Also Read: WLD Rallies After Airing Controversial Commercial

According to the agreements, participants would then receive WLD tokens in installments over time.

The investigation also revealed that people were not correctly informed of the purpose of the data collected as required under PDPO. Also, the Foundation intended to withhold the data collected for 10 years to train its AI models.



Cryptopolitan reporting by Collins J. Okoth

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