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MetaMask: what about the collection of user data from the crypto wallet?

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The crypto wallet MetaMask has reportedly changed its privacy policy so that it can collect ip and wallet addresses of its users. But then, what is this change and what does it mean for the community? The Versity team explains.


Focus on the MetaMask crypto wallet

To begin with, let's remind ourselves that MetaMask is a crypto wallet. So it allows you to store and exchange cryptocurrency. But not only that. On MetaMask, you can also host decentralized apps, as well as NFTs. And all this in a secure and free way.

Another special feature of MetaMask: it offers the possibility to interact with Ethereum, and almost all blockchains. Attractive features that have elevated it to the rank of the most used crypto wallets in the world, with no less than 21 million active users to date.

Metamask and its privacy policy on data collection

The news has triggered the ire of the web3 community. MetaMask reportedly changed its privacy policy to allow it to collect IP addresses of its users. A wave of criticism and questions about the protection of user data, and especially their exploitation, followed.

In this regard, Dan Finlay, the co-founder of MetaMask claimed that users' IP addresses were only stored temporarily and that it was indeed not necessary because they were not used in any way.

MetaMask's defense of the controversy

In response to the community, ConsenSys, MetaMask's parent company issued a press release explaining that it was already collecting IP addresses of its users.

"Our policy has always explained that certain information is automatically collected about how users use our sites, including the fact that this information may include IP addresses."

But that this would only affect users of its RPC (Remote Procedure Call) application through its provider Infura.

"When you use Infura as your default RPC provider in MetaMask, Infura will collect your IP address and Ethereum wallet address when you make a transaction."

So users with their own Ethereum node or users with their own third-party RPCs, therefore, are not affected by this data collection. They will, however, need to refer to the privacy policy of the RPCs they are using.

ConsenSys also announced that it has appointed a data protection officer, to ensure compliance with current legislation.

How can I avoid having my data collected on MetaMask?

To prevent MetaMask from collecting your data, here's what we recommend: 

- open MetaMask and go to the app's settings by clicking on the round colored dot on the top right;
- click on the blue button on the top right "Add a network";
- then go to "Manually add a network" at the bottom;
- you can then follow the steps indicated to create your own network and thus avoid the collection of your data!

So, will MetaMask succeed in regaining the trust of its users? 
At a time when crypto companies are under increasing scrutiny, nothing is less certain. 

The Versity team keeps you updated on the web3 world!!