Vender dados pessoais pela íris é aceitável? Saiba o que é a Worldcoin

Is selling personal data through iris acceptable? Find out about Worldcoin.

The collection of iris personal data by Worldcoin has already been suspended in Portugal by the National Data Protection Commission (CNPD), after complaints of data collection from minors without parental authorization. But after all, what is Worldcoin and what was gained in return? Is the transaction acceptable? Understand everything next.

27 Mar 20243 min

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Worldcoin: What do I gain by providing my personal data?

Worldcoin is a multinational co-founded by the founder of Open AI, the same company that created ChatGPT, and has hundreds of people working in Portugal to collect personal data, returning cryptocurrencies that are convertible into cash in the bank account.  

Although it is currently suspended, people have been increasingly joining this data exchange for virtual coins, heading to the installed orb counters (devices that collect images of the iris and face of people through crystal balls).

However, the National Data Protection Commission (CNPD), which has been investigating Worldcoin's activity since 2023, has been expressing its reservations regarding this action, warning about the risks of selling personal data, namely identity theft. It has now managed to suspend it after complaints of collecting data from minors without parental authorization.

According to CNPD president Paula Meira Lourenço, fundamental rights such as the right to the protection of personal data are not tradable goods. Link.

Therefore, it is "not acceptable" to remunerate personal data, as "the right to personal data protection is a fundamental right," explains Paula Meira Lourenço, quoted by Notícias ao Minuto.

The President of CNPD also explains that the decision to sell biometric data through iris scanning in exchange for cryptocurrencies has risks, so "only through informational self-determination can ensure the ability to decide" whether they consent to its processing. It is "essential that conscious, properly informed choices be made regarding the risks that this may entail," the news also states.

What are the risks associated with this exchange?  

The leader also warns about the fact that these contests, with prizes in exchange for data collection, have always existed, and people "even give not only their personal data, but also the data of their children and even friends, just to end up winning a coupon, a perfume sample, or other symbolic prizes... We deal with this every day," cites the news.

The problem starts when the appropriation of personal data enables preparing cyberattacks more effectively, capturing passwords or other authentication information, allowing other attacks. So, having access to even more information allows the attacker to usurp the identity and acquire products and services in the name of the person for financial gains.

In addition, the data could still be used later in an attempt to commit other crimes, such as identity theft and fraud, which leads the CNPD to advise not to provide more data than necessary and appropriate, ensuring that the data controller respects the principle of data minimization, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union.

"The data protection authorities perform their role of supervision and control, but they cannot replace the data subjects in certain options, as this would mean taking away the self-determination that the GDPR has granted them," the president of the Commission is quoted as saying in the news.

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