Coinbase has denied rumors that the platform is selling its customer information to the US’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which falls under the Department of Homeland Security. There have been reports that Coinbase has been providing geolocation data to the ICE.
Taking to Twitter, the crypto exchange platform highlighted that the company does not sell proprietary customer data. It pointed out that its foremost priority is giving a safe and secure experience to users of the platform. Coinbase explained that its Tracer tools are created to comply with the government’s requirements. It said this is used to investigate finance-related crimes like terrorist financing and money laundering. Coinbase claims that the information it provides to the government comes only from public sources and not the platform’s user data.
Natasha LaBranche, a company representative, said all Coinbase Tracer features use data that is fully sourced from online, publicly available data and does not include any personally identifiable information for anyone or any proprietary Coinbase user data. Additional information says ICE was not needed to sign an End User Agreement, which stated what users can and cannot do with a company’s software, with the platform – meaning that the agency has broad discretion over how they use the data tracking technology.
Coinbase had sealed a deal with ICE in September 2021 for developing software for the government agency. According to the agreement, the platform has to provide “application development software as a service” to ICE in exchange for $1.36 million. Basically, Coinbase is providing a service to a government agency.