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ConsenSys Walks Back Data Collection Policy After Community Feedback

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6 months ago - 2 minutes read

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After receiving community feedback Blockchain software technology company ConsenSys, the company behind Ethereum ecosystem projects including uPort, Metamask, Truffle, and Gnosis has walked back a recent announcement regarding their data collection policies.

This is the strength of community! Not in the sense that it can bully a company into reforming its policies, more so that it can provide valuable feedback that can guide product owners to make informed decisions.

A quick poll to the crypto community or product users would tell you that they're more in favour of data collection tactics that store private info for a period of 7 days rather than indefinitely. Armed with this information product owner can get things right the first time. Or at least be more in line with users needs, values, and expectations.

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ConsenSys Data Collection policy Fail

ConsenSys, the developer of the popular crypto wallet MetaMask, has reduced the retention of MetaMask user data to 7 days following massive community backlash. -source

Originally reported in late November 2022, the company would start collecting user-provided data around two of its flagship products, being the MetaMask wallet and Infura RPC (default MetaMask RPC).

Data collected through MetaMask includes:

  • identity information (name, username, gender, date of birth, etc.)
  • profile information (including username and password)
  • contact, financial and transaction information

Data collected through Infura includes:

  • users’ IP addresses

You can see how this may be problematic unless you have complete and utter trust in ConsenSys to protect your data from hackers, and to not sell it to the highest bidder. When a company is storing information such as wallet addresses combined with IP's from the locations where transaction were made, that should be a red flag.

It's no suprise that the braider crypto community asked for more clarification on the data collection policy, including information pertaining to how long data is stored and how it's stored.

From this community feedback a few key pieces of policy update were put forward.

"We are working on narrowing retention to 7 days and we will append these retention policies to our privacy policy in an upcoming update."

"We have never and will never sell any user data we collect."

"IP addresses and wallet address data relating to a transaction are not stored together or in a way that allows our systems to associate those two pieces of data."

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Choose You're Own RPC Adventure!

If you wish to avoid the data collection that happens through accessing blockchain services with the Infura RPC using MetaMask, you're able to select other RPC providers! Some RPC alternatives include: Kaleido, Blockstream, and Alchemy among others.

MetaMask will now aim to build a new advanced settings page, giving new users the opportunity to choose their own RPC during the onboarding process.

Good things can come from community feedback, an essential value add element in the community management mix.

Ciao for now,

@agr8buzz


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