A Kenyan MP has raised health concerns about the infra-red light used by Worldcoin’s eye-scanning orbs during a parliamentary probe into the cryptocurrency project.
Worldcoin has been giving people digital coins in exchange for a scan of their eyeballs – though last month it was ordered to stop signing up Kenyan users pending an investigation over data privacy concerns.
MP Shakeel Shabir brought up the complaints when Health Minister Susan Nakhumicha appeared before the parliamentary committee on Thursday.
“I have five cases who have written to me, who claim that after this scan they felt great discomfort. Their eyes were paining,” he said.
Ms Nakhumicha said as the orb had not been brought into Kenya as a health device, its infra-red light had not been tested. She urged Kenyans who may have developed health issues to seek medical help.
The results of Kenyan forensic analysis of Worldcoin’s orb are reportedly expected next week.
But the Worldcoin Foundation told the BBC: “Biometrics including iris and facial scanning are safely used and captured all over the world by private companies, health organisations and governments. Worldcoin is no different when it comes to safety.
“More than two million people around the world have registered with Worldcoin. We have not received any reports of health issues following the orb-enabled proof of humanness verification process.”
Tools For Humanity, which developed the orb that Worldcoin uses, has also tweeted to say the device “complies with international standard specifications”.