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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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What MetaMask does with your data

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“The new terms and conditions published today are full of meaning”, regretted a user on Twitter. ConsenSys, one of the biggest blockchain and cryptocurrency companies in the world, is getting into trouble. “In 3 years, the company has gone from a discourse of privacy protectors to that of a data collector”he added.

Thursday, November 24, the one who manages the decentralized wallet MetaMask, for crypto-currencies on Ethereum, changed the way it works and clearly indicated that it followed a logic of collecting data from its users, despite the entirely decentralized nature of its platform. A few hours ago, it was the Uniswap platform which sent the same statements to its customers.

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So that’s a big change on two of the main services working on the Ethereum Blockchain. Privacy is no longer a priority, and the terms of use of MetaMask and Uniswap question the economic model of these tools. The web3 Wallet-like digital wallet, MetaMask, is not only useful for spending cryptocurrencies. It is also a way to identify yourself on many decentralized services (DApps). Hence the concern of customers.

“Its formula is very clearly focused on respecting private data”wrote the site again CryptoNews in July 2020 to describe MetaMask. “The latest V8 update of the project thus allows the user to fully manage what websites can or cannot have access to when the application is connected. It is also possible to create specific accounts for certain sites in order to control the data concerned”, could we read on their site.

Data retrieved by MetaMask

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The change took place without any warning. Cryptocurrency journalist Colin Wu reported the news while digging through MetaMask’s terms of service. The data concerned relates to the user’s IP address and digital wallet. In other words, it would also be possible for them to recover the surnames, first names, age, sex, user name and password provided.

Quickly, MetaMask co-founder Dan Finlay reacted. He tried to reassure users by explaining that this collected information had no use for the service, and that he recognized that it was “a problem”. According to him, the bad practice can be quickly resolved, certainly during the holidays after Thanksgiving. In other words, the next few days. “We do not use IP addresses, even if they are stored temporarily, which is not necessary, because we do not use them, for anything”.

This honesty still raises the question of why MetaMask got into the embarrassment of having to collect this information overnight. It also raises the question if the Web3 service collected the data in the past, without informing its 21 million users. With the FTX affair, which led to a crisis of confidence in cryptocurrency services, MetaMask may have wanted to remain cautious and announce the existence of this practice itself while waiting to be able to announce that they were going there. remedy.

“Don’t ignore this practice”

In essence, it is possible to bypass collection. MetaMask is not directly responsible for recording IP addresses and Ethereum addresses. This is the Infura suite of tools, also owned by the ConsenSys company, and which is used in the protocol as an RPC (Remote Procedure Call) provider, which allows transactions to be carried out (the RPCs communicate to distance with the blockchain nodes to carry out the operations).

Accessing MetaMask’s settings, users can switch services by clicking “Add Network” from your Wallet’s networks menu. That said, you will again have to find one that does not collect your data. Our colleagues from Corner Newspaper suggested using Ankr’s RPC.

“Don’t ignore this practice. This is how you will be locked out of the financial system in the not so distant future. That’s how they’re going to do it”, sounded the alarm signal the controversial character of Chris Blec on Twitter, a fervent defender of decentralized finance. “I think a day will come when, you know, banks will censor people if they violate standards or if they don’t respect social standards”, he confided already in July 2021 in an interview granted to CoinTelegraph.

Source: Presse-Citron

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