Home Credit inquiry Coinbase Responds To Reports Of Selling Customer ‘Geographic Tracking’ Data To US Government Coinbase

Coinbase Responds To Reports Of Selling Customer ‘Geographic Tracking’ Data To US Government Coinbase

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Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has insisted it is not selling ‘proprietary customer data’ after reports surfaced that its Tracer product provided ‘historical geolocation data’ to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Coinbase responds to reports of selling customer data to US government

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase came under fire last week when reports surfaced accusing the Nasdaq-listed company of selling customer data to the US government.

Coinbase Tracer, the analytical arm of the cryptocurrency exchange, has signed a contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that would allow the government agency to access a variety of data, including “ historical geolocation data,” according to a contract obtained by watchdog group Tech Inquiry.

However, Coinbase clarified on Twitter on Thursday, “We want to make this incredibly clear: Coinbase does not sell proprietary customer data.”

Coinbase responds to reports of selling customer 'geo-tracking' data to US government

“Our Coinbase Tracer tools are designed to support compliance and help investigate financial crimes like money laundering and terrorist financing. Coinbase Tracer derives its information from public sources and does not use Coinbase user data .Never,” the exchange tweeted again.

However, many people on Twitter do not believe that Coinbase does not sell any customer data to the US government, noting that the company specifically uses the word “proprietary” to describe data it does not sell.

Coinbase sold a single license of analytics software to ICE for $29,000 in August last year, followed by a software purchase worth a potential $1.36 million the following month.

The full contract documents surfaced this week via a Freedom of Information Act request by Tech Inquiry. The story was originally reported on Wednesday by The Intercept.

The disclaimer on Coinbase’s website reiterates what the company tweeted on Friday, stating, “Coinbase Tracer derives its information from public sources and does not use Coinbase user data.”

Do you think Coinbase is selling customer data to the US government? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

An economics student from Austria, Kevin discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests include Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects, and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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