Coinbase ‘Should Stand Up for its Users’ With Transparency Reports: Electronic Frontier Foundation
San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international non-profit digital rights group, has called out Coinbase for not issuing transparency reports, saying it is past time that the US-based cryptocurrency exchange does that.
Applauding Coinbase competitor Kraken for publicly releasing information on global law enforcement requests it receives, EFF said crypto companies need to be open with customers because courts do not side with consumer privacy. The non-profit group is,
“increasingly concerned that payment processors are being asked to turn over information on their customers, without any mechanism for the public to know who is making those requests, or how often.”
Financial data, among the most sensitive types of information, can be turned over with a subpoena and doesn’t require a review from the judge before being sent to the service provider.
“Choosing to comply with or reject a government request for this user data—or choosing to shut down an account—can have a huge impact on what types of speech can thrive online.”
Transparency reports are important tools for accountability, and crypto exchanges should understand the importance of privacy of financial information because their users prize crypto’s anonymity and inherent resistance to censorship.
By providing the public with data on how often law enforcement seeks user data and how often services comply, it can be known whether companies like Coinbase are living up to their promises to protect user privacy and further provide details on government surveillance activities. It said,
“Coinbase wields tremendous power and influence over this dynamic. It should stand up for its users and also use its market power and influence to show others that transparency reports are an industry standard for all cryptocurrency exchanges.”