Which site you visit, what you purchase and which currencies you use is private data. They are unprocessed raw data that should not be shared with anyone and meant to be just that, private. Privacy laws exist to prevent corporations with unbridled access from creating models out of what you feed your search engine or what you share or post without the sole generator granting access. Sites and other platforms that require access to personal data must be compliant with GDPR, CCPA and BDSG-New rules.
These laws are in place to protect you, the source, from possible exploitation and even blackmail just in case those jewels land in the wrong hands. Luckily, these laws don’t spare crypto–fiat on-ramps as BitFinex or CoinBase for example. As bridges, centralized exchanges are temporary solutions, gateways for crypto liquidity and because they are dominant–in terms of volumes and users, they play an important role–at least for now.
Current CoinBase Providers Selling Client Data
But, it is emerging that CoinBase, the US Exchange that is one of the few exchanges to wade off hacks, acquired Neutrino–a Blockchain intelligence company, because providers were selling customer information to third parties. In an interview, Christine Sandler, the CoinBase Head of Marketing, the executive gave reasons saying:
“It was important for us to migrate away from our current providers. They were selling client data to outside sources and it was compelling for us to get control over that and have proprietary technology that we could leverage to keep the data safe and protect our clients.”
Neutrino, she says, has the best talents and their expertise would be used to keep “data safe and protect” clients.
In recent weeks, CoinBase came under fire for their acquisition of the controversial–yet reliable intelligence company— whose heads were former members of the notorious Milan based Hacking Team. Previously, Ethereum World News, reported that the team were caught selling surveillance tools to repressive regimes that lead to deaths, exiling and torture of several journalists across the world. But, it is more of Neutrino and what they do that put risk to customers of their ability to keep their data private.
Exchange Under Fire
Even though Neutrino expertise could come in handy when there is need of taming scams and related illegalities, it is increasingly becoming clear that CoinBase transactions will always be under a magnifying glass.
Will that in any way strip away privacy and compound problems which Christine Sandler has already admitted to? That there might be some user data being auctioned for cents in the dark web? Even though we must commend CoinBase for their effort of wading out government pressure of turning in user records for tax purposes to some successful and reasonable degree, the company should prepare for more backlash from users. Already there is a campaign urging customers to deactivate their account in light of recent events.
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