November 29, 2023

The crypto community is fiercely criticizing an update that MetaMask made regarding its data collection policies. Developer ConsenSys has now issued an update clarifying the changes to the policy.

Wallet provider MetaMask is facing strong public backlash after a recent update on its data retention policies. The reaction prompted a post from developer ConsenSys on Dec. 6, reassuring users of MetaMask and the toolkit Infura.

The firm’s privacy policy was altered last month, which led to reports that it would result in the collection of users’ wallets and IP addresses. This quickly led to a heated response from the crypto community, which has well-established itself as being extremely privacy-centric.

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ConsenSys offered some clarification on the exact implementation of its data policies. It describes the change as one focused on better transparency. It lists some important points to note regarding the policy, which may provoke a reaction nonetheless.

Users of MetaMask will not see account information stored if they only check their balances and, by extension, their IP addresses. Only write requests, or broadcasted transactions, are subject to this data collection.

Most importantly, ConsenSys aims to narrow its retention of user data to seven days, after which deletion will occur. It also states that it would not sell user data. MetaMask users will also have the option to switch to an RPC provider other than Infura.

Naturally, the crypto community was up in arms over the data collection. It took to social media to air its concerns, and Reddit was full of criticism of the move. Some users suggested that a highly-anticipated governance token would help in stopping such changes.

Even with the transparency update, it’s unlikely that users will be completely reassured. There is a distinct possibility that they will look to MetaMask alternatives that don’t collect data. Others suggest simply switching out of the Infura RPC, which will prevent IP address collection.

MetaMask has been making headlines for multiple reasons in recent weeks. Russia’s Sber Bank announced that it plans to integrate its blockchain platform with Ethereum and MetaMask. This is sure to catch the attention of global organizations.

MetaMask has also opposed the Apple Tax, to the point where it is willing to leave the Apple ecosystem. MetaMask co-founder Dan Finlay suggested creating a new prepay transaction relay to help Apple users avoid the 30% cut. Coinbase also has to end support for NFT transfers over issues related to Apple’s policies.

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