Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, after reports surfaced that its tracer products provide “historical geographic tracking data” to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), “proprietary customer data” and insists it does not sell the data.
Coinbase responds to reports that it sells customer data to the U.S. government
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase came under fire last week after a report surfaced accusing the Nasdaq-listed company of selling customer data to the U.S. government.
According to acontractobtained by the watchdog group Tech Inquiry, the cryptocurrency exchange’s analytics arm, Coinbase Tracer, signed a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to allow government agencies access to various data, including “historical geographic tracking data”
However, Coinbase clarified on Twitter on Thursday.” We want to make this incredibly clear: Coinbase does not sell its own customer data.”
“Our Coinbase Tracer tool is designed to support compliance and assist in the investigation of financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorist financing.Coinbase Tracer is a publicly available information information from sources and does not use Coinbase user data. ever,” the exchange further tweeted.
However, many on Twitter do not believe that Coinbase does not sell customer data to the U.S. government, noting that the company specifically uses the word “proprietary” to describe the data it does not sell.
Coinbase sold analytic software licenses to ICE last August for $29,000 each, with a potential software purchase worth $1.36 million the following month.
The full contract documents surfaced this week through a Freedom of Information Act request by Tech Inquiry. The story was firstreportedby The Intercept on Wednesday.
A disclaimer on Coinbase’s website reiterated what the company tweeted on Friday, stating:” Coinbase Tracer obtains information from public sources and does not use Coinbase user data.”
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