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Uniswap’s new privacy policy sees backlash from decentralization buffs


23 Nov 2022

#UniSwap

Uniswap newly released privacy policy comes in light of the FTX crisis, an event that has shined a spotlight on the need for transparency. Decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap recently updated privacy policy appears to have attracted the ire of some members of the community, with concerns that collecting and storing user data works against crypto’s core values. In recent responses to a November blog post regarding its updated privacy policy, some vocal members of the community suggested it is uncharacteristic for a decentralized entity to collect and store information about its users.

In the Nov. 11 post from Uniswap Labs, released around the time of FTX’s collapse, the decentralized exchange released its privacy policy to explain how it collected and stored user data: “With innovations around blockchain, web3 aims to reclaim users’ privacy and choice after decades of internet businesses that have eroded it.” “That’s why we’re releasing a new Privacy Policy today – we want to be crystal clear about what data we’re protecting and how we use any data we collect. Transparency is key. We never want our users to be surprised,” it said.

This privacy policy, which was last updated on Nov. 17, reveals that the exchange collects publicly-available blockchain data, information about user devices such as browser information, operating systems and information about users’ interactions with its service providers, among others. Uniswap also stated that none of this information includes personally identifiable information such as first name, last name, street address, date of birth, email address or IP address. Despite this, some in the crypto community have shared concerns that the moves are in contrast to crypto's core values, which are focused on user privacy and anonymity. 

The team behind privacy-preserving cryptocurrency Firo argued in a Nov. 21 Twitter post to its 83,700 followers that Uniswap’s privacy update sets a “dangerous precedent” for DEXs: OwenP, an affiliate for the DEX SpookySwap suggested that it was uncharacteristic for a decentralized exchange to collect and store user information on the backend. “We were contacted [...] by an infrastructure provider once who asked about our backend and what info we kept we were shocked by the question. ‘None of course’ [was] the answer.”

Meanwhile, Twitter user CryptoDavid also noted to his 12,000 Twitter followers on Nov. 21 that he wasn’t surprised by Uniswap’s decision, as other DEXs have also started doing the same thing. Transparency has emerged as a buzzword in the industry following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX earlier this month. Other crypto entities that have recently pledged toward “transparency,” including implementing proof of reserves in the case of centralized exchanges, include Kraken, Bitmex, Coinfloor, Gate.io and HBTC, who’ve already completed audits. Binance, OKX, KuCoin and a host of other exchanges also plan on doing the same.


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