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Worldcoin’s Sole Korean Employee: Iris Data Misuse Concerns Are Misunderstood

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 2 min read
Worldcoin iris data

Worldcoin has faced criticism from regulators worldwide for its data practices, but an employee is looking to assure users their iris data is safe.

Noah Kim, the sole Korean employee at Worldcoin developer Tools for Humanity, addressed privacy concerns in a recent interview with the Korea Times. He said he believes misconceptions about data collection and iris scanning, specifically, are the project’s biggest hurdle.

Kim, a financial controller at Worldcoin, also manages Korean market affairs for the company, according to the report published Tuesday.

He told the outlet that the only role of the device, called the Orb, is to check if the person using it is real by scanning their irises. “We create an encrypted code and delete the rest of the data immediately,” he said.

Worldcoin didn’t return Cryptonews’ request for comment on the article by press time.

WLD Token Popularity Surges Following South Korea’s Investigation into Worldcoin

A South Korean personal information committee began a probe into Worldcoin earlier this year following complaints about its iris scanning process. Once the investigation started, trading in the WLD token reportedly surged on the Bithumb crypto exchange.

Authorities estimated over 50,000 South Koreans held WLD tokens as of March 2024. Also, reports indicate the coin experienced a significant surge in popularity among crypto investors earlier in the year.

Worldcoin Employee Emphasizes Iris Data Scanning Benefits Amid Criticism

In an attempt to dispel misconceptions surrounding Worldcoin, Kim said the project will continue cooperating with the Korean committee’s investigation. He also defended the project’s iris scanning process, explaining why it is important for the mission.

According to the employee, the iris scanning method is the most efficient and secure solution for large-scale user verification. Traditional methods like facial recognition or fingerprints, he argued, have limitations. Facial features can be altered through surgery, fingerprints can be damaged or even replicated, and DNA verification is too expensive for mass adoption.

In Kim’s view, iris scanning offers the easiest and fastest way to establish a system for billions of users.

“The information guarantees anonymity. Because these facts weren’t properly explained, I believe people are reluctant to use it. We are preparing to create more real life application cases, so I hope more people will use World ID in the future,” Kim told the outlet.

World ID also integrates with popular platforms like Reddit, Discord, and Minecraft, allowing users to verify their accounts and gain a verified status, like a blue checkmark. Kim envisions World ID as a login service that extends beyond social media. He believes it can be a powerful tool for developers to tackle critical issues in Korea, such as combating ticket scalping.

“We are seeking partnership in Korea, hoping to collaborate with big corporations,” he said.