New ConsenSys Updates Collect IP and Ethereum Address Data via MetaMask

Updated by Kyle Baird
In Brief
  • Infura will log IP and ETH addresses in MetaMask.
  • It is easy to switch to an alternative PRC provider.
  • Uniswap also collecting more data from users.
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Ethereum software solutions provider ConsenSys has updated its privacy policy. However, the new additions mean much less privacy for Ethereum users.

On Nov. 23, ConsenSys quietly updated its privacy policy. In it was a clause stating Infura would collect more data from Ethereum transactions.

Infura is a tooling suite for the creation of applications that connect to the Ethereum network. ConsenSys is the company behind Infura and MetaMask, the world’s most popular Ethereum wallet.

When using Infura, the default Remote Procedure Call (RPC) provider in MetaMask, it will “collect your IP address and your Ethereum wallet address when you send a transaction.”

The move was noted by the Chinese industry outlet Wu Blockchain. Additionally, it was commented on by several prominent crypto experts:

Those using their own nodes or RPC providers will not be subject to data collection.

ConsenSys: Eroding Ethereum Privacy

The reaction from the crypto community was vociferous, as expected. A true web3 application or platform does not collect user data—which is essentially the whole point.

DeFi developer ‘foobar’ said that he would stop using these apps. Furthermore, the default provider cannot be removed from MetaMask, so users can “never fully opt out,” he added.

“Zero reason to spy on users like this, assume malice until proven otherwise,”

Furthermore, Ethereum advocate Anthony Sassano suggested switching RPC providers, adding that it was “trivially easy.”

Web3 and decentralization campaigner Chris Blec saw more sinister undertones to the move.

“Don’t ignore this stuff. This is how you will be canceled from the financial system in the not-so-distant future. This is how they’ll do it.”

The updated ConsenSys privacy policy includes other information that it collects related to the Codefi site and services. The data included identity and contact information, financial and transaction data, and KYC information where applicable.

Furthermore, it automatically logs data such as IP addresses, devices, browsers, and operating system types.

Uniswap Collecting More Data

Uniswap caused a stir earlier this month when it did something similar. An updated privacy policy revealed that the DEX collects blockchain data and information about user devices, browsers, and operating systems.

However, unlike ConsenSys, Uniswap said it did not collect personal information such as names, IP addresses, and email addresses.

In response, the privacy-focused crypto platform Firo said, “this sets a dangerous precedent for DEXes.”

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