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Worldcoin Enhances Privacy Measures and Age Verification, Allows Users to Unverify World ID

Hassan Shittu
Last updated: | 2 min read
Worldcoin Enhances Privacy Measures and Age Verification, Allows Users to Unverify World ID

Worldcoin, the digital identity and cryptocurrency project founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has announced new features to enhance personal data protection and age verification.

Sam Altman’s Worldcoin is taking measures to improve the protection of user data and ensure that its platform is available only to people over 18.

Worldcoin Enhances Privacy and Age Verification Measures with New Updates

On April 9, Worldcoin, the digital identity and cryptocurrency project led by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, unveiled new features aimed at bolstering the protection of personal data and enhancing age verification measures.

The first update introduces the ability for World ID holders to unverify their identities, thereby permanently deleting their iris codes, which serve as unique identifiers. Iris codes are used to confirm individuals’ humanness by scanning their eyeballs with specialized devices called orbs. 

Once the iris code deletion is initiated, the user’s World ID becomes invalid, and a six-month “cool-off” period is enforced to prevent immediate re-verification. This measure ensures that individuals cannot immediately circumvent the unverification process. 

After the cool-off period, the iris code is permanently deleted and rendered unrecoverable. Worldcoin collaborated with third-party privacy and security experts, including the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision (BayLDA), to develop this unverify option. BayLDA serves as the project’s lead supervisory authority in the European Union.

The second update involves implementing in-person age verification checks at all Orb locations to ensure that the platform is only accessible to individuals aged 18 and above. Before undergoing World ID verification, individuals must undergo an on-site age verification check conducted by third-party personnel. This measure reinforces Worldcoin’s existing policy of requiring users to be at least 18 years old to obtain a World ID.

These updates come as Worldcoin continues its mission to establish a global financial and identity network based on proof of personhood, a concept introduced by Altman when he launched the project in July 2023. However, Worldcoin has faced criticism from some quarters, with concerns regarding its centralization, privacy, and security implications.

Worldcoin: Challenges and Controversies Surrounding Proof-of-Personhood Technology


Altman, the creator of OpenAI — the firm behind the natural language processing chatbot ChatGPT — launched Worldcoin in July 2023 to provide a “global financial and identity network based on proof of personhood.”

To join the ecosystem, users must provide a scan of their iris through one of Worldcoin’s specialized Orb hardware devices. This step provides “proof-of-personhood” that is cryptographically secured and used as a World ID, founders Alex Blania and Sam Altman wrote in a letter upon the project’s launch.

Worldcoin received mixed reactions from the community as many questioned its centralization, privacy and security.

Some governments have also been sceptical about Worldcoin’s security and privacy. Worldcoin’s European Union supervisor, BayLDA, reportedly began investigating the Cryptocurrency due to privacy concerns months before its official launch.

In late 2023, Worldcoin paused the offline orb verification function for users in India and aims to reinstate the service later in 2024.

In August 2023, Worldcoin was banned in Kenya, with the government halting all local activity associated with the platform, including biometric identification. A few months later, Worldcoin said it was working with the Kenyan government to resume operations in 2024.

In March 2024, Worldcoin declared that it operated lawfully in all of the locations in which it is available and fully complies with related laws.