Europe imposes new ban on Worldcoin over concerns for child safety

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Controversial crypto biometrics venture Worldcoin has been almost entirely booted out of Europe after being hit with another temporary ban — this time in Portugal. The order from the country’s data protection authority comes hard on the heels of the same type of three-month stop-processing order from Spain’s DPA earlier this month. Portugal’s data protection authority said it issued the three-month ban on Worldcoin’s local ops Tuesday after receiving complaints Worldcoin had scanned children’s eyeballs. By contrast, EU data protection law gives people in the region a suite of rights over their personal data, including the ability to have data about them corrected, amended or deleted. As Tools for Humanity’s lead DPA, under the one-stop-shop (OSS) mechanism in bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is responsible for investigating privacy and data protection complaints about the company.

Google Fined $270M in France for Unlawful Use of News Publishers’ Data for Gemini

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Google hit with $270M fine in France as authority finds news publishers’ data was used for GeminiIn a never-ending saga between Google and France’s competition authority over copyright protections for news snippets, the Autorité de la Concurrence announced a €250 million fine against the tech giant Wednesday (around $270 million at today’s exchange rate). The competition authority has found fault with Google for failing to notify news publishers of this GenAI use of their copyrighted content. But the competition authority quickly stepped in – finding its unilateral action an abuse of a dominant market position that risked harm to publishers. But in 2021, Google was hit with a $592M fine after the competition authority found major breaches in its negotiations with local publishers and agencies. Google has signed copyright agreements with hundreds of publishers in France – which fall under the remit of its agreement with the Autorité.

Italian Authorities Fine TikTok Following Investigation into Consumer Safety of ‘French Scar’ Trend

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Italy’s competition and consumer authority, the AGCM, has fined TikTok €10 million (almost $11M) following a probe into algorithmic safety concerns. Moreover, this content is systematically re-proposed to users as a result of their algorithmic profiling, stimulating an ever-increasing use of the social network,” the AGCM wrote. The authority said its investigation confirmed TikTok’s responsibility in disseminating content “likely to threaten the psycho-physical safety of users, especially if minor and vulnerable”, such as videos related to the “French scar” challenge. One notable change as a result of the DSA is TikTok offering users non-profiling based feeds. TikTok also faces the possibility of increasing regulation by Member State level agencies applying the bloc’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

International currency Worldcoin is unable to obtain court order to halt Spain’s suspension of citizen’s privacy rights.

The Worldcoin Orb With World Id Card
Controversial eyeball scanning startup Worldcoin has failed to get an injunction against a temporary suspension ordered Wednesday by Spain’s data protection authority, the AEPD. Today a Madrid-based High Court declined to grant an injunction against the AEPD’s order, saying that the “safeguarding of public interest” must be prioritized. However the court found the AEPD’s suspension order to be justified on account of the risks around biometric data and how many individuals are being put at risk by Worldcoin’s processing, including children. Again, the Court was unimpressed, dismissing what it described as “unsubstantiated assertions” and pointing out the AEPD’s suspension is time-limited; only applies in Spain; and is compensable (i.e. Reached for comment on the dismissal of its appeal for an injunction, Tools for Humanity’s spokeswoman, Rebecca Hahn, emailed a statement she said is attributable to Worldcoin:

on cryptocurrency Breaking News: Worldcoin Takes Legal Action Against Spain’s Cryptocurrency Suspension

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A German subsidiary involved in Sam Altman’s controvercial crypto blockchain digital identity business, Worldcoin, was reported Friday to have filed a legal challenge against a suspension order from Spain’s data protection authority. Here’s Worldcoin’s statement in full:Worldcoin is fully compliant with all laws and regulations governing biometric data collection and data transfer, including Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). Nor to confirm whether Worldcoin and its operators in Spain have complied with the local order to stop scanning and processing data of people from the market. If that happens, disputes over decisions are either resolved via majority votes or, if DPAs remain split, the European Data Protection Board gets a casting vote. The article also notes that “several” EU authorities are currently investigating whether Worldcoin complies with the GDPR.

“Spain Implements Temporary Ban on Worldcoin Due to Privacy Worries”

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Spain’s data protection authority has ordered Worldcoin to temporarily stop collecting and processing personal data from the market. Data protection authorities can also demand unlawful processing to stop, including temporarily if they are concerned people’s rights are at serious risk, as is happening here. An investigation was opened by France’s data protection authority last year. It also said then that it would be seeking to ascertain whether Worldcoin had carried out a data protection impact assessment. In another set-back last year, Kenya’s data protection authority issued a ban on Worldcoin’s local processing.