Fraud, Exploited Workers and Free Cash: How Worldcoin Recruited Its First Half Million Test Users

Fraud, Exploited Workers and Free Cash: How Worldcoin Recruited Its First Half Million Test Users

In the end, something Blania said, incidentally, during our interview in early March, helped us finally begin to understand Worldcoin.

“We will let privacy experts dismantle our systems, over and over again, before we actually deploy them on a large scale,” he said, answering a question about the negative reaction to privacy last fall.

Blania has just recounted how his company involved 450,000 individuals in Worldcoin – meaning its balls scanned 450,000 sets of eyes, faces and bodies, storing all that data to train its neural network. The company recognized this data collection as problematic and sought to stop it. However, it did not provide the same privacy protections to these early users. We were confused by this apparent contradiction: are we those who lack vision and the ability to see the bigger picture? After all, compared to the stated goal of the company to sign up a billion users, maybe 450,000 is small.

But each of those 450,000 is a person, with their own hopes, lives and rights that have nothing to do with the ambitions of Silicon Valley startups.

The conversation with Blanio clarified something we were trying to understand: how the company could talk so passionately about its privacy protocols, while clearly violating the privacy of so many. Our interview helped us see that, for Worldcoin, these legions of test users, for the most part, were not intended end users. Instead, their eyes, bodies, and life patterns themselves were simply a stain on the Worldcoin neural network. Meanwhile, lower-level ball operators are paid pennies to power the algorithm, often privately battling their moral dilemmas. A huge effort to teach Worldcoin AI to recognize who or what a man was was, ironically, dehumanizing those involved.

When we put seven pages of reports on findings and issues into Worldcoin, company response is that almost everything negative that we discovered is simply an “isolated incident”[s]In the end, it wouldn’t matter anyway, because the next (public) iteration would be better. We believe that the rights to privacy and anonymity are fundamental, which is why in the next few weeks everyone who applies for Worldcoin will be able to do so without sharing any their biometric data with us “, the company wrote. It seemed that almost half a million people had already been tested.

Instead, what really matters are the results: that Worldcoin will have an attractive customer number that will strengthen its sales offering as the Web3’s preferred identity solution. And whenever real, redeemable products – whether it’s a ball, a Web3 passport, the currency itself, or all of the above – are launched for users, everything will be ready, with no messy signs of labor or human body parts. behind it.



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