Etherscan: We reviewed their privacy policy so you don’t have to.

Presearch Privacy Review #13: Etherscan

EtherScan is a block explorer service which allows users to explore and search the Ethereum blockchain for transactions, addresses, tokens, prices, and other Ethereum activities.

In July 2018, they suffered a minor hack where an exploit in the comments section was used to display a pop-up windows to site-visitors bearing the message ‘1377’(1980’s shorthand for elite hacker). This did not result in damage to the platform or private information being leaked. If anything, it highlighted a security issue within the site.

Our privacy expert, Dylan Curran reviews and highlights the pertinent parts of the Etherscan privacy policy so you know what you need to know.

TYPES OF DATA WE COLLECT

It may include (but is not limited to):

Personal information that links back to an individual, e.g. name, gender, date of birth, and other personal identification numbers;

Contact information, e.g. address, phone number, email address;

Technical information, e.g. IP address for API services and login;

Statistical data, e.g. hits to website.

To summarize the ‘Types of Data Collected’ section, Curran points out: “There’s nothing too dramatic going on here, and it appears that they only collect any relevant information about you when you sign up. The good thing about Etherscan, is that you don’t need to sign up to the service in order to use it effectively, and it seems they don’t collect your searches or queries regarding any browsing you do of the blockchain.” So it is possible to use this service without submitting your data. A win for all privacy-conscious people.

HOW DO WE COLLECT PERSONAL DATA

Etherscan collects data under fairly standard circumstances. Here is the privacy policy section as it pertains directly to your data that they collect:

When you engage with our products and services;

When you create an account with us;

Communications with them via telephone, letter, fax, and email;

When you visit their website;

When you contact them in person;

When they contact you in person;

When they collect information about you via third parties, and other channels including their support helpdesk.

“The only worrying thing here,” Curran points out, “is that they collect information about you via third parties, as Etherscan actually uses Google Analytics and Doubleclick, both services that provide analytical advertising services to millions of other websites.”

Curran then goes on to explain what portion of the analytical services Etherscan is using from these third-parties. “ Etherscan only seems to be using the analytical side, and not the advertising side of things.” And points out how you can best protect yourself: “This means they are not necessarily exploiting your blockchain activities for advertising. It is good to keep this in mind though and use a tracker-blocker such as Ghostery if you can.”

TO WHOM DO WE DISCLOSE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

Etherscan states they ‘will not trade or sell your Personal Data to third parties. Your Personal Data shall only be disclosed or transferred to the following third parties appointed or authorised by the Company for the fulfilment of the Purpose of: (a) data warehouses; (b) IT service providers; © data analytics and/or marketing agency; (d) legal bodies as permitted or required by law such as in compliance with a warrant or subpoena issued by a court of competent jurisdiction; and/or (e) regulatory authorities applicable to you; and/or (f) safety and security personnel.’

Etherscan seems to use this information in a similar fashion to other platforms. Curran does not seem to be worried about improper use of your personal data by Etherscan.

CURRAN’S VERDICT

“Etherscan is a blockchain service, and because of this they need to adhere to strict privacy standards. The positives are that they are not really collecting any information about what you do on the site, and they definitely aren’t collecting any personal information about you unless you sign up to the service, which you don’t need to do.”

“However,” Curran continues, “I do have to dock a point for their use of Google Analytics and Doubleclick, two companies I definitely don’t trust with ANY information whatsoever. For these reasons, I give them a 4/5 star rating, and I encourage you to use a VPN/tracker blocker when using this service,” Curran concludes.

“Thank you for watching the video, we make these privacy reviews so you don’t have to read the policies yourself. To support us, please like and share the video, subscribe to the channel, and go to Presearch.org to create an account. Thank you.”

Presearch Privacy Reviews is a series dedicated to reviewing the privacy of all the biggest tech companies. We hope to give you the information you need to enhance your own privacy and make educated decisions that companies would rather you avoid.

Presearch is a decentralized search framework that doesn’t collect your personal information. They provide access to over 80 different search providers (including Etherscan) while allowing you to earn Presearch rewards just for searching. Even if you don’t care that Presearch doesn’t collect your data, they offer the benefits of all the best search engines combined for fast and convenient results. Go to Presearch.org and start earning rewards today.

Presearch is building a decentralized search engine — visit www.presearch.io or https://twitter.com/presearchnews for more info