Sam Altman’s Worldcoin ordered to cease data collection in Spain

  • The Spanish Agency for the Protection of Data (AEPD) issued an order on March 6, prohibiting Worldcoin’s operations for three months and directing them to cease data collection and processing within Spain.
  • Worldcoin’s product and service, developed by Tools for Humanity, led by OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman, aims to establish a globally inclusive identity and financial network.
  • Worldcoin’s Data Protection Officer, Jannick Preiwisch, asserted that their technology prioritises privacy and safety.

On March 6, the Spanish Agency for the Protection of Data (AEPD) issued an interim order prohibiting Worldcoin’s operations for a duration of three months, directing the company to cease gathering and processing data within the country.

AEPD investigates Worldcoin

Tools for Humanity, a company that OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman started, is the developer of the Worldcoin product and service.

As per the Worldcoin white paper, the aim is to establish a globally inclusive identity and financial network, owned by the majority of humanity, with the objective of paving the way for AI-funded universal basic income.

According to the AEPD, the agency is looking into accusations that Worldcoin is allegedly collecting data from minors and that users in Spain are unable to withdraw consent.

Based on the AEPD’s statement through translation: “The AEPD, which demands the cessation of the collection and processing of special categories of personal data as well as the blocking of those already collected, has received several complaints denouncing, among other aspects, insufficient information, the collection of data from minors or that the withdrawal of consent is not allowed.”

Also read: Worldcoin: Innovating global finance or invading personal privacy?

Worldcoin’s response

Jannick Preiwisch, Data protection officer in Worldcoin, responded in an interview with Cointelegraph: “World ID was created to give people access, privacy and protection online. It is the most privacy preserving and safest solution for asserting humanness in the age of AI, and we are always willing to engage with regulators, examine their feedback, and answer their questions.

“For months we have been engaged with Bavarian data protection authority (BayLDA), who are the lead supervisory authority under the GDPR for Worldcoin Foundation and Tools for Humanity. The Spanish data protection authority (AEPD) is circumventing EU law with their actions today, which are limited to Spain and not the broader EU, and spreading inaccurate and misleading claims about our technology globally.”

Just a month before, Hong Kong’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) also investigated Worldcoin.


Sylvia Shen

Sylvia Shen, a news reporter at BTW media dedicated in Fintech and Blockchain. She graduated from University of California, Davis. Send tips to

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