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Understanding Worldcoin data security practices

3 Minute Read

Data security is a prerequisite for any financial or identity related project. That’s why it’s an essential part of Worldcoin.

Worldcoin’s commitment to personal privacy and data security starts with the fact that personal data is intended to be controlled by individuals themselves instead of any single entity. 

Robust data protections have also been built into every aspect of the project, from verifying and signing in with World ID to using World App, the first wallet built for Worldcoin by contributor company Tools for Humanity (TFH). 

The orb data protection

The orb, which verifies World ID, is a state-of-the-art device custom built by TFH for the Worldcoin project that verifies a person’s humanness and uniqueness using an iris code.

Importantly, all images used to create the iris code are automatically deleted by default.

Built into the orb’s hardware are diverse security features designed to ensure that no data can be accessed by anyone unauthorized to do so. These include two unique cryptographic keys both permanently burned into the Orb’s hardware: one which is provisioned into the main CPU prior to manufacturing and another located in a secure element that cannot be exported. The orb will not operate unless both keys are valid and their environments are intact, and no code can run on it without a cryptographic signature.

Additional orb hardware and backend data security protections include:

  • Asymmetric data encryption at the orb
  • RAM-only data processing
  • Solid-state drive (SSD) encryption “at rest” 
  • Data encryption in transit from the orb to secure servers
  • Use of secure, EU-based AWS and MongoDB servers for data storage of iris codes
  • Regular security audits from 3rd party auditors

This list is not exhaustive. It’s instead intended to demonstrate the seriousness with which data security is handled at the orb. Security features are continually being evaluated and enhanced by TFH to ensure the integrity of the Worldcoin project.

You can read more in the Technical Implementation section of the Worldcoin whitepaper. 

World ID data protection

World ID is a digital humanness passport designed to let you privately prove you’re unique and human on the internet. It can be held on World App, and additional World ID-compatible apps will be available as the project grows. 

Importantly, both World ID and World App are fully self custodial, and no information like name, email, phone, etc. is required to download and use World App or to verify and use World ID.

When a person uses their World ID, a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) is used to prevent third parties from knowing the person’s World ID public key or tracking them across applications. ZKPs also protect the use of World ID from being tied to the iris code of the person or any data used in its creation. World ID uses Semaphore to, among other things, confirm the World ID is not tracked to a person’s identity nor to verifications in other applications.

World App data protection

TFH’s World App is a self-custodial wallet, which means that the private keys are not known to anyone, including TFH and the Worldcoin Foundation. Backups are also self-custodial, and users may choose to make an encrypted backup of their wallet (for example, to allow a wallet to be migrated to a new device) by use of iCloud Backups (on IOS devices) or Google Drive backups (on Android devices and IOS devices).

On both Android and iPhone devices, World App securely stores data within the native application sandbox, with an additional layer of protection for a user’s private keys. These keys are stored in the user's keychain on iOS and in encrypted preferences on Android. World App also uses device integrity checks to detect potential malware or device security issues and to provide confidence that the application has not been compromised.

Within World App security and privacy settings, users can enhance security by requiring authentication before using the application. 

World App is hosted on AWS infrastructure that is ISO 27001 certified—the world's best-known standard for information security management systems. In addition to being self custodial with regard to the private keys for the wallet and World ID, all user data is encrypted and de-linked from any data used to verify their World ID, including the iris code. 

Learn more

Learn more about Worldcoin data security by visiting the privacy page on the Worldcoin website. You can also stay informed by joining the daily conversations on Twitter/X, Telegram, Discord and LinkedIn or signing up for the blog newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Additional important information concerning the project is available in the Worldcoin protocol whitepaper.


The above content speaks only as of the date indicated. Further, it is subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and so may be incorrect and may change without notice. A full disclaimer can be found in our Terms of Use and Important User Information can be found on our Risks page.