- ConsenSys’ Infura will now collect users’ IPs and wallet addresses;
- Crypto users are outraged that Metamask is invading their privacy.
Users are outraged after ConsenSys, a crucial infrastructure provider for the Ethereum blockchain, said they will collect data from Metamask users.
ConsenSys was one of the key players in the execution of the Ethereum Merge. They are also the company that developed the most popular Ethereum wallet – Metamask.
Specifically, this will apply when users use Infura, the default Remote Procedure Call (RPC) provider in Metamask. Users can use other RPC providers, which means ConsenSys cannot collect their data. However, their other RPC providers can.
Users took to social media to voice their concerns over the move. Many criticized the company for what they see as a move to profit from user data.
Web3 and User Data
Data collection has been a thorny issue in the crypto space for years. Proponents of Web3 say that they are building a new version of the internet where users have much more control over their data.
In a five-year-old Reddit comment, one Infura developer vehemently denied that Metamask would collect user data. He also explained why the company decided to opt for privacy.
"Many of us, myself included, come from the traditional Web 2.0 start-up world where the reigning business model would be to offer a service like Infura for free, harvest the data, and sell it to 3rd parties," he wrote.
The developer said that Infura and Metamask are free not “because we are harvesting the data with the intent to sell it” but to provide key infrastructure to help onboard users to Ethereum.
On the Flipside
Why You Should Care
Centralized companies being in control over your wallet data should raise alarms. The dangers include, but are not limited to, privacy breaches, blacklisting, and hacks.
Read about Metamask denying wallet access to hundreds of users by mistake:
MetaMask Apologises for Extensive Application of Sanctions
Check out some wallet alternatives to Metamask:
Top 12 Crypto Wallets to Integrate with Decentralized Apps