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Coinbase’s contracts with ICE and other agencies might land the company in controversies

Coinbase Tracer in a deal again with ICE.

Coinbase Tracer's deal with ICE

Picture Credits: The Blockypto

 

Coinbase Tracer, which is also called as Coinbase analytics program, is specifically curated to provide information about the users to the US Immigration and Enforcement Agency. The report was acquired by a contract by a watchdog group Tech Inquiry.

According to the contract, the information is that, the three-year deal between the crypto exchange and ICE, the law enforcement arm of US Department of Homeland Security, also provides the body with sensitive user information from the crypto exchange.

On hearing the reports, a representative from Coinbase made statements denying the information that the crypto exchange provided the sensitive information about the exchange’s users in the analytics program.

The spokesperson also claimed that, the information about the user passed on to ICE is sourced from internet. The data that is publicly available is only passed. Sensitive information about the user and personally identifiable information is not included in the data that is passed to the regulatory body.

 

Number of deals have been reported between Coinbase U.S Government agencies.

The last deal between Coinbase and U.S Government agencies which was reported was signed in the month of September last year valuing at $1.37 Million. There were many small contracts that has happened in the past between the Coinbase and US agencies. In August 2021, Coinbase supposedly went on to sign another contract with ICE which was worth $29,000. The deal was to provide the agency with licenses for analytics software. Licenses for Coinbase Tracer were sold by Coinbase to the US Secret Service in April 2021 and May 2020, each for less than $50,000 at the time.

Controversies surrounding the Coinbase’s Analytics Program.

Formerly known as Coinbase Analytics, Coinbase Tracer has encountered controversy in the past. The division of the exchange that created the software was acquired by Coinbase in 2019 from Neutrino, a blockchain intelligence company whose executive team had previously worked with a startup that sold spyware to a number of governments, including Saudi Arabia, which is known for violating human rights.

The contracts by the watchdog about the passing of sensitive information to ICE adds up more to the case. For a crypto exchange like coinbase, the data of users is of utmost importance, and passing of such data to any other third party, could surely lead to a catastrophic result for both the user as well as the company. In the best interest of both the parties, the suggestible way of action would be for Coinbase to refrain from unimportant contracts and stick to giving the best user experience for the users.

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