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Coinbase denies reports of selling customer data to the US government


cointelegraph.com 01 July 2022 10:25, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

Crypto exchange platform Coinbase denied reports alleging that the company is selling its customer information to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency that works under the country’s Department of Homeland Security. 

On Thursday, news that Coinbase has been providing geolocation data to the ICE has circulated online. Because of this, Twitter users like Solobase Mac were shocked and noted that they "didn't sign up for that." They tweeted:

Now why would they be doing that? So basically invasion of privacy. Sells with out knowledge? They will be owing me 10 million for that one. I didn’t sign up for that. What the hell could this be real or false. Man so much running through my head right now.

— Solobase Mac (@Blacktalizman) June 30, 2022

In a statement on Twitter, Coinbase clarified that the firm “does not sell proprietary customer data.” The exchange highlighted that its foremost priority is giving a safe and secure experience to the users of the platform. 

Additionally, the crypto platform has also explained that its Coinbase Tracer tools are created to comply with government requirements. Coinbase noted that this is used to investigate finance-related crimes such as terrorist financing and money laundering. According to the exchange, the information they provide to the government comes only from public sources and not from Coinbase user data.

Back in September 2021, Coinbase inked a deal with the ICE for developing software for the government agency. The agreement compels the exchange to provide "application development software as a service" to the ICE in exchange for $1.36 million.

Related: Coinbase to track off-exchange transactions from Dutch customers

Despite the setbacks caused by the current crypto winter, Coinbase is looking to expand its operations in Europe. The exchange has begun hiring staff in Switzerland and is licensed to operate in countries like Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Last week, credit rating firm Moody's downgraded Coinbase's Corporate Family Rating (CFR), which is the firm's opinion on Coinbase's capability to pay its financial obligations. The rating agency also downgraded the exchanges' guaranteed senior unsecured notes, which is debt that is not backed by any collateral assets.

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