Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, on Wednesday, August 9, urged foreign countries to extradite WorldCoin staff to record statements in Kenya after he accused them of exploitation of data.
While appearing before Parliament, the CS revealed that those involved in the Worldcoin activities will be required to record statements with local authorities and offer clarity on the craze that saw Kenyans line up to get their eyes scanned for Ksh7,000.
Among those the CS hinted at being grilled if his request is granted are Sam Altman, WorldCoin owner and US tech entrepreneur and his co-founders Max Novendstern and Alex Blania.
“We have on our radar all the people of interest. Those in the country have already recorded their statements, and we will also be requesting the surrender of those outside our territory so that they can record statements,” he stated.
The CS reiterated that he suspended WorldCoin’s operation in Kenya after it was found to have breached data laws.
However, intel indicated that its officials had visited Kenya a few months before the suspension to monitor its progress and were thus liable with or without their direct involvement in the exercise.
Kindiki wants the authorities to explain how they collected data from Kenyans without clearly outlining WorldCoin’s operations, how the data was protected and how it will be exploited.
He further revealed that the government banned WordCoin staff, both locals and foreigners, from leaving the country.
“We are using our legal instruments to ensure that those people are held accountable,” Kindiki added.
The CS added that the investigations were being carried out to ensure all those found guilty are held to account but assured that there was no cause for alarm.
“I want to inform the house and the country that we believe crimes have been committed, crimes against the Data Protection Act, the privacy of the people of Kenya, and the penal code. All those found culpable shall be held accountable whether they are Kenyans or not,” the CS assured.
However, the CS acknowledged that the government should have acted faster when dealing with the matter, as investigative agencies were caught off guard.
Nonetheless, the ministry monitored the activities for three days before pouncing into action.
“Ordinarily, security agencies do not interfere with business operations and everyday activities unless there is reason to,” he clarified.