Infura is a tooling suite for the creation of applications that connect to the Ethereum network. ConsenSys is the company behind Infura and MetaMask, the world’s most popular Ethereum wallet.
When using Infura, the default Remote Procedure Call (RPC) provider in MetaMask, it will “collect your IP address and your Ethereum wallet address when you send a transaction.”
The move was noted by the Chinese industry outlet Wu Blockchain. Additionally, it was commented on by several prominent crypto experts:
Those using their own nodes or RPC providers will not be subject to data collection.
ConsenSys: Eroding Ethereum Privacy
The reaction from the crypto community was vociferous, as expected. A true web3 application or platform does not collect user data—which is essentially the whole point.
DeFi developer ‘foobar’ said that he would stop using these apps. Furthermore, the default provider cannot be removed from MetaMask, so users can “never fully opt out,” he added.
“Zero reason to spy on users like this, assume malice until proven otherwise,”
Furthermore, Ethereum advocate Anthony Sassano suggested switching RPC providers, adding that it was “trivially easy.”
Web3 and decentralization campaigner Chris Blec saw more sinister undertones to the move.
“Don’t ignore this stuff. This is how you will be canceled from the financial system in the not-so-distant future. This is how they’ll do it.”
Furthermore, it automatically logs data such as IP addresses, devices, browsers, and operating system types.
Uniswap Collecting More Data
However, unlike ConsenSys, Uniswap said it did not collect personal information such as names, IP addresses, and email addresses.
In response, the privacy-focused crypto platform Firo said, “this sets a dangerous precedent for DEXes.”
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