- ConsenSys’ Infura will now collect users’ IP addresses and wallet addresses;
- Crypto users are outraged that Metamask invades their privacy.
Users are outraged after ConsenSys, a major blockchain infrastructure provider, said it would collect data from Metamask users.
ConsenSys was one of the major players in the implementation of the Ethereum Merge. It is also the company that developed the most popular Ethereum wallet – Metamask.
Specifically, this will apply when users are using Infura, the default remote procedure call (RPC (NYSE :)) provider in Metamask. Users can use other RPC providers, which means ConsenSys cannot collect their data. However, other RPC providers can.
Users took to social media to express their concerns about the move. Many have criticized the company for what they see as a move to profit from user data.
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It was fun while @MetaMask lasted but I do value my privacy in this space. Change wallets as quickly as possible.
— gooniebrad (@gooniebrad) November 24, 2022
Another user wrote: “FTX failure, Metamask and Infura privacy issues — I can’t remember a stronger tailwind for actual decentralization.” The news comes just days after they said they would collect data from users’ wallets, devices, and browsers.
Web3 and user data
Data collection has been a thorny issue in the crypto space for years. Web3 proponents say they are building a new version of the Internet where users have more control over their data.
In a five-year-old Reddit comment, an Infura developer adamantly denied that Metamask would collect user data. He also explained why the company decided to choose privacy.
“Many of us, myself included, come from the traditional Web 2.0 startup world where the prevailing business model will be to provide a service like Infura for free, collect data, and sell it to third parties,” he wrote. The developer said Infura and Metamask are free not “because we collect data with the intent of selling it” but to provide the key infrastructure to help users get on board with Ethereum.
on the flip side
Why should you bother
Centralized companies that control your portfolio data should raise alarms. Risks include, but are not limited to, privacy breaches, blacklisting, and hacking.
Read about Metamask accidentally blocking wallet access to hundreds of users:
MetaMask apologizes for the heavy application of penalties
Check out some wallet alternatives to Metamask:
12 best crypto wallets to integrate with decentralized applications