ConsenSys Under Fire for Collecting MetaMask Users’ Wallet and IP Addresses
Leading Ethereum Wallet Has Over 30M Users
By: Samuel HaigBreaking News
“When you use Infura as your default RPC provider in MetaMask, Infura will collect your IP address and your Ethereum wallet address when you send a transaction,” Consensys said. “However, if you’re using your own Ethereum node or a third-party RPC provider with MetaMask, then neither Infura nor MetaMask will collect your IP address or Ethereum wallet address.”
Infura is a blockchain tooling and API development company that was acquired by Consensys in October 2019. RPC refers to a software communication protocol that allows web3 applications to interact with blockchains remotely.
Naturally, the move has raised concerns in the web3 community, with some threatening to boycott Consensys’ services.
“It was fun whilst it lasted MetaMask but I value my privacy in this space,” tweeted Pixelvault moderator, Gooniebrad. “Changing wallets ASAP.”
“Time to stop using metamask I guess,” said Beastlyorion, a Cardano staker.
But others believe the people decrying ConsenSys should blame themselves for failing to operate their own infrastructure.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable for people to get pissed at centralized infra providers collecting more data and potentially censoring,” said Gabriel Shapiro, general counsel at Delphi Labs. “This tech was always geared toward running your own infra and we’re gonna see that put to the test. More education/tooling needed.”
Some in the crypto community are encouraging users to use a VPN to obfuscate their location when using MetaMask, despite a VPN only disrupting the collection of location data and not wallet addresses.
“Once they determine that the majority of IPs come from [the] USA, we’ll see more regulatory capture from the SEC,” tweeted Twitter user, Coinvision. “Use a VPN.”
The updated policy comes three weeks after Chris Blec, an outspoken MakerDAO governance delegate, challenged ConsenSys to explain its contradictory privacy policies for MetaMask.