Chiloba defends Kassait in Worldcoin saga and blames regulatory lapses

Chiloba defends Kassait in Worldcoin saga and blames regulatory lapses
CA Director General, Ezra Chiloba./Photo Courtesy

Kenyans have been exposed to data abuse as a result of regulatory authorities’ oversights and the lack of a coordinated effort to rein in Tools for Humanity, the parent company of Worldcoin.

Kenya’s Communication Authority (CA) claimed in it’s presentations to the National Assembly Adhoc Committee, looking into Worldcoin activities that competing regulatory powers among authorities made it difficult to coordinate a response.

Ezra Chiloba, director general of CA, told lawmakers that although the Office of Data Commissioner is responsible for ensuring data privacy protection, implementation of consumer protection may have been hampered by legal snags.

“I believe that the regulator did their part in terms of operationalization and I think the Data Commissioner did the best and if there are lapses, they should be fixed from a legal perspective,” Chiloba told lawmakers.

A day after the State Law Office accused Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait of improperly licensing Worldcoin, Chiloba came to her defence.

According to him, the nation’s technology advancements and legislative structure are not current with each other.

“The issue we are handling are novel if you look at our legal framework it’s not adequate to address the issue. When we were setting the Data Protection Act did we anticipate we would be confronted with this type of invention, not all.” he said.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) issued Tools for Humanity the license to operate in the country as a data processor.

Worldcoin then began data processing activities of iris data via an orb scanner. Users were issued with free Worldcoin tokens estimated to be worth KSh7,000 in July.

Induced consent

“When you don’t explain what you are doing you leave room for many explanations and that is a risk. That’s why regulators have to step in and try as much as possible to protect ordinary citizens from a sophisticated process,” Chiloba said.

“From a business perspective the intention was good for them , but the fact that they didn’t carry all actors along. I don’t think it was fair for the country,” Chiloba added.

He pointed out that the induced consent where participants were given free cryptocurrency, was an indication that the consent wasn’t from an informed point of view on the risks and the benefits.

“It’s a paradox of sort that it’s a sophisticated solution but the people who showed are unsophisticated. How are you going to merge this in the future? Is that complexity that we are looking at,” he stated.

In France, India, Germany, the UK, and other nations, questions have been raised about the openness of Worldcoin activities.

Thousands of people flocked to numerous sign-up locations in Nairobi’s capital, thanks to Worldcoin’s offer of twenty five free tokens to those who registered.

In the middle of July, thousands of Kenyans flocked to Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Conference Center to get their eyes scanned.

The initiative, according to it’s creators, intends to address one of the major issues the cryptocurrency sector is now facing since it heavily relies on pseudonyms to operate, making it susceptible to spam bots and scams.

According to the company’s website, more than 2.1 million people have registered for Worldcoin globally, and iris scans have been performed in thirty four nations.

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