A total of 48 orbs, electronic gadgets, and Worldcoin operations assorted merchandise were recovered from agents of two companies during a police operation in Nairobi.
The companies’ warehouses affected included ‘Tools for Humanity Corporation ‘ and ‘Tools for Humanity Gmbh’ who were harvesting biometric data, specifically the iris scanning of people in exchange for Sh7,000 worth of Worldcoin tokens.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said the gadgets are currently undergoing forensic analysis.
The National Security agencies have also recovered assorted documents and recorded 26 statements from witnesses and other persons of interest and are currently being analysed.
“The investigations will be expedited in consideration of the public interest and national security concerns, and those found culpable shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” said Kindiki when he appeared before a Parliamentary team investigating the operations of the company.
He said there is a correlation between cryptocurrency, money laundering, and financing of terrorism.
“There exists a legal and regulatory gap in cybersecurity and cybercrime prevention in the Data Protection Act No. 18 of 2021.”
A task force has been established to develop regulations under the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, 2018, and proposed regulations will help address gaps in cybersecurity and cybercrime prevention and give full effect to the Act.
Led by Chairperson Gabriel Tongoyo, the Joint Committee seeks to inquire into the legal and regulatory compliance of the operations of Worldcoin and its subsidiary partners, potential health hazards caused by the scan, the intended use of the data collected, and its safety in the hands of the collector.
Top on the list of witnesses and experts scheduled to appear before the Committee include the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury, to shed light on the relationship between the cryptocurrency trade in Kenya and the recent activities of Worldcoin among others.
The National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), are also set to make an appearance before the 17-member committee, as well as the Ministry of Health who will shed light on potential health hazards resulting from the reported irises scans.
The office of the Attorney General, the Registrar of Companies, and the Data Commissioner will be expected to answer the MPs’ questions on the legal framework of operations of the foreign entity in Kenya, and if due diligence was undertaken in the registration of Worldcoin to operate in Kenya.
These sessions will also seek to evaluate whether the operations of Worldcoin complied with the Data Protection Act, and other relevant laws in Kenya.
Police had raided a warehouse owned by company and confiscated machines that were used in collecting data.
Thousands of Kenyans trooped to the Kenyatta International Convention Centre to cash in on the free cash of Sh7,000 before the exercise was suspended on Wednesday over data protection concerns.
“The government is not aware of the source of funds. Part of the multi-agency team mandate will be to investigate the source of the money being issued to the participants and the beneficiaries of this activity.”
Kindiki said the firm was only registered as a data controller as one compliance obligation pursuant to the Data Protection Act, 2019 and the Data Protection Registration of Data Controllers and Data Processors Regulation, 2021.
“An application for a certificate of registration only signifies that the entity has complied with sections 18 and 19 of the Act and does not endorse an entity’s compliance with the Data Protection Act or its subsidiary regulations, nor is it a valid license for organisations to operate in Kenya or authorize the operations of an entity,” the CS said.
He said the certificate only signifies that the firm is known to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner that it processes personal data of persons located in Kenya.
“Further, it does not amount to certification of the processing activities of an entity or serve as an endorsement from this Office of an entity’s compliance with other provisions of the Act or any other laws,” Kindiki said.
Kindiki suspended the activities of Worldcoin in Kenya but an estimated 350,000 Kenyans are reported to have already signed up after the registration started last month.Email your news TIPS to Editor@kahawatungu.com or WhatsApp +254707482874