MetaMask Reviews Data Collection Policy Following Community Backlash

  • The platform aims to reduce data retention to seven days.
  • ConsenSys will also allow for the use of third-party RPCs and self-hosted nodes.

ConsenSys, the company behind MetaMask and Remote Procedure Call (RPC) infrastructure Infura, has clarified how it handles data privacy after being criticized for collecting users’ wallet information and IP addresses. In a blog dated December 6, the blockchain software company issued a list of clarifications, commitments, and updates on the matter.

It notes that wallet addresses are not stored when users make a ‘read’ request like checking their account balances; the data is only collected when they make transaction requests. The reason for collecting the data, according to the company, is to enhance transaction initiation and execution and to protect the platform against security violations.

In addition, the New York City-based company assured its users that the data is stored so that the systems cannot relate an IP address and the wallet address. The report also noted that the retention period would be reduced to a week, and the data would not be sold to a third party.

‘‘We retain and delete user data such as IP address and wallet address pursuant to our data retention policy. We are working on narrowing retention to 7 days, and we will append these retention policies to our privacy policy in an upcoming update,’’ the announcement noted. ‘‘We never have and will never sell any user data we collect,’’ it added.

ConsenSys to allow for the use of third-party RPCs and self-hosted nodes

ConsenSys is also updating the policy to allow users to use third-party RPCs or host their nodes. However, the company cautioned that such options did not have additional privacy. ‘‘ Alternative third-party RPC providers have different privacy policies and data practices, and self-hosting a node may make it even easier for people to associate your Ethereum accounts with your IP address,’’ the report warned.  

ConsenSys came under fire last month when it opted to collect wallet addresses on transactions, financial, marketing, and usage. Community users blamed the company for going against the very objectives of Web3. Adam Cochran, a partner at Cinneamhain Ventures, was one of the users who expressed his dissatisfaction terming the policy as an ‘‘unacceptable violation of user privacy.’’   

Infura is an API-based tool that allows developers to deploy applications on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform – which was acquired by ConsenSys in 2019 – serves more than 350,000 developers and notable Web 3.0 projects, including Uniswap and MakerDAO.

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