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Argentina Lawmaker Unveils Draft Worldcoin Regulation Bill

An Argentinian lawmaker has launched a draft bill that proposes regulating Worldcoin and its operator in the Latin American nation.

The move comes just days after Worldcoin announced a planned expansion in Mexico. Some Mexican lawmakers have also called for a probe into operator Tools for Humanity.

Argentina Lawmaker: We Must Protect Consumer Rights

Per the official news outlet of the Buenos Aires assembly, the new bill is the brainchild of Buenos Aires parliament member Carlos Puglelli.

The MP, and others, have claimed it is “unclear” what Worldcoin does with the biometric data it collects using its iris-scanning drives.

Puglelli’s bill proposes “regulating companies that scan people’s irises for the purpose of collecting biometric data.”

The bill’s author noted that Buenos Aires authorities should be allowed to “exercise control over activities carried out by companies like Worldcoin.”

He also called for more “transparency” about happens to the biometric data that “users deliver to these companies, in this case in exchange for a payment in cryptocurrency.”

Worldcoin has proven a hit in Argentina, where it operates over 50 iris-scanning centers.

Buenos Aires MPs Want Worldcoin Investigation

The crypto project has piqued the interest of more Argentina lawmakers.

In mid-April, Romina Braga, another member of the Buenos Aires assembly, called for an official investigation into Worldcoin.

Braga called on Axel Kicillof, the Governor of the Buenos Aires Province, to commission an investigation. She also voiced several privacy and data-related concerns.

A Worldcoin retina scanner orb. (Source: Steve Jurvetson [CC By 2.0])This follows a move from the national data protection agency, which announced the launch of an investigation into Worldcoin in January this year.

Puglelli’s bill calls for the creation of a “regulatory framework” that regulates biometric data collection and introduces punishments for any “abuse” of this data. He explained:

“It is essential to adapt our legislation to meet the challenges posed by the digital era.”

Regulator to Get Involved?

The bill, if adopted, would see the Provincial Directorate for the Defense of the Rights of Consumers and Users appointed as the “supervisor” of Worldcoin.

The Directorate would be charged with “promoting fair and equitable consumer relations in the digital sphere, as well as trust and IT security.”

UK data watchdog to make enquiries about Worldcoin crypto project https://t.co/nT2PYkzz5P pic.twitter.com/VESSVtp0i9

— Reuters UK (@ReutersUK) July 25, 2023

The media outlet Criptonoticias reported that Worldcoin has been operating in Argentina “for more than a year.”

It added that “thousands of citizens have transferred their biometric data to the Cayman Islands-based firm.”

Will Lawmakers Get Their Way?

Both Puglelli and Braga have complained that “it is not clear” exactly “what Worldcoin does with iris-scanned data.”

The lawmaker warned that Worldcoin “has no legal status in Argentina and is acquiring biometric data in a way that puts privacy at stake.”.

It remains to be seen if the lawmakers’ warnings will dampen public enthusiasm.

However, they do not appear to be alone. The Buenos Aires Ministry of Production, Science, and Technological Innovation says it has also investigated Worldcoin’s data protection credentials.

Portugal orders Sam Altman’s Worldcoin to halt data collection https://t.co/xeqg0VHqPg

— Dr. Alexander Deicke (@AlexanderDeicke) April 3, 2024

Mexican lawmakers have also raised concerns. In Chile, another country with multiple data collection centers, government agents have inspected three Worldcoin-related addresses.

Agents asked the firm to submit “additional information” to “ensure that Worldcoin is complying with national regulations.”

Data-related concerns have disrupted Worldcoin iris-scanning efforts in European nations, including Spain, Germany, and France.

Government agencies in East Asian nations such as South Korea and Hong Kong have also launched Worldcoin-related investigations.

The post Argentina Lawmaker Unveils Draft Worldcoin Regulation Bill appeared first on Cryptonews.

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