Worldcoin faces privacy concerns as iris scan black market emerges for biometric verification
Worldcoin, a high-profile cryptocurrency venture led by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, faces privacy concerns with the emergence of a black market for biometric credentials needed for the project’s verification process.
gizmodo report A Chinese individual says he is getting a detailed iris scan to gain access to the Worldcoin beta network. This unexpected development poses significant privacy and security challenges to the rapidly growing cryptocurrency industry.
World Coin “Orb” Verification
The crux of the problem lies in Worldcoin’s “Orb,” a device designed to capture an accurate image of a user’s iris and generate anonymized accounts in exchange for free cryptocurrency tokens. This biometric process aims to authenticate users as “humans” in an increasingly AI-driven digital world. Altman envisions a form of universal basic income awarded to individuals based on proof of their humanity.
Unfortunately, this breakthrough method of identification has opened the floodgates for abuse. Blockbeats, a China-based crypto publication, initially launched iris scans from residents of Cambodia, Kenya, and other countries for as low as $30 per scan, for people in China, where Worldcoin currently does not operate. Reported to be purchased.
Worldcoin position on allegations
In response to the issue, Worldcoin has communicated with Gizmodo US that its main concern stems from authenticated “World IDs” sold through third-party black market apps, rather than actual iris scans. These world IDs effectively confirm the uniqueness of an individual.
Worldcoin has identified only “hundreds” of fraudulent IDs. To mitigate abuse, the company has already taken steps to overhaul its registration process, including adopting dynamic QR codes instead of static codes.
Additionally, Worldcoin has announced plans to create a new recovery process for misplaced World IDs, reflecting the prioritization of users’ interests.
Past Security Revocation
This is not the first time Worldcoin has tackled security-related complexities. TechCrunch has revealed that hackers installed malware on some Orb operators’ devices, compromising their login credentials and putting user information at risk.
While Worldcoin vehemently denies that sensitive biometric data was accessed, the lack of two-factor authentication for the Orb operator logins represents a notable security oversight.
With the emergence of a black market for iris scanning for biometric purposes, which first appeared in CryptoSlate, post-world coins face privacy concerns.