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Tech CEO wants to scan your eyes for global ID: ‘World ID’ will happen ‘whether you like it or not’

A person's eye. (Unsplash)
July 24, 2023

The CEO of Worldcoin, a company seeking to create a new “financial network owned by everyone,” wants billions of people to scan their eyes for a global ID – which he says will happen “whether you like it or not.”

“Worldcoin consists of a privacy-preserving digital identity (World ID) and, where laws allow, a digital currency (WLD) received simply for being human. We hope that, where the rules are less clear, such as in the U.S., steps will be taken so more people can benefit from both,” CEO Alex Blania said in a joint statement.

Blania recently insisted that a global form of ID will eventually be required to access the internet.

“So my high-level response is that something like World ID will eventually exist, meaning that you will need to verify [that you are human] on the internet, whether you like it or not,” said Blania, according to CoinDesk.

“It’s probably going to happen in the next couple of years,” he added.

In October 2021, a report revealed over 100,000 people volunteered to have their eyes scanned in exchange for Worldcoin cryptocurrency.

According to Financial Times, Worldcoin is part of an effort to distribute digital money more broadly around the world. The project has already given out around 30 devices called “orbs,” which are being used to scan people’s eyes on four continents. After taking a photo of the user’s eye, the orb creates a unique code that can be used to access free digital currency. Early orb users get rewards for signing more people up.

Blania insisted the project would not invade users’ privacy, noting that the orbs convert the eye photos into unique codes composed of letters and numbers before permanently deleting the scans.

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI – the company that launched the popular artificial intelligence large language model ChatGPT – is a co-founder of Worldcoin. Altman previously said he hopes the rapidly advancing technology will “break capitalism.”