Metamask developer ConsenSys, an influential “incubator” of Ethereum applications, had come under fire after it emerged that its flagship wallet passed on user transaction data and IP addresses to Infura, a centralized Ethereum node service also owned by ConsenSys.
Proponents of decentralization argued that the policy was an unwelcome intrusion into Web3 of Web2-style surveillance practices.
In a statement published Tuesday, ConsenSys said it was “working on narrowing down” the period in which it holds onto wallet and IP addresses while building a more accessible interface for users who want to host their own nodes and avoid data tracking altogether.
The company also clarified that its existing policy does not authorize the sale of data to third parties or store IP addresses and wallet data “in a way that allows our systems to associate those pieces of data.” Neither does it store wallet information from “read” requests, like viewing an account balance on MetaMask. Instead it only collects wallet and IP data from “write” requests or transactions.
In addition, ConsenSys warned users that hosting their own nodes or outsourcing to a third party would not necessarily bolster privacy, noting that alternate providers have different privacy policies and data practices that “may make it even easier” for people to associate users’ Ethereum accounts with their IP addresses.