To help improve the usability of the decentralized web, MetaMask will begin including an opt-in analytics system in our extension on all browsers within the next few weeks.
Let’s get a few points out of the way. Here are a number of steps we are taking to ensure that MetaMask respects your privacy:
- MetaMetrics will be opt-in. After opt-in, you can opt-out anytime.
- MetaMetrics will not collect sensitive data from users: No seed words, no public addresses, no private keys, and no data outside of the extension (we aren’t reading your tabs).
- MetaMetrics data will only be used for guiding development through an understanding of how people are using the product. We will not profit off of your data. Ever.
- Data collected will be anonymous. Individual data points will be deleted in compliance with GDPR regulations.
- Data will be occasionally aggregated and shared with the community-at-large.
- Our codebase continues to be open source and open to audits at our GitHub.
We realize that in this current environment, data collection is rightly viewed with suspicion. However, as the ecosystem grows, it is important to make data-driven and evidence-based decisions. This data will complement qualitative data gathered from other forms of ongoing research such as user interviews and community awareness. In this space, where the possibilities of new features and improvements are endless, smart prioritization is a must.
With that done, let’s explain things in detail!
What is MetaMetrics?
MetaMetrics is an analytics platform, powered by the open source platform Matomo that aims to collect information on user events.
When a user opts-in to MetaMetrics, their local MetaMask instance will send specific events of the application to the Matomo service. For example, when an individual clicks a certain button, receives an error message, or closes out of sending a transaction, that event is recorded and sent to Matomo. This data then appears on our dashboard on Matomo and allows us to view these metrics, both from an individual anonymized level and from an aggregated level.
No data such as public accounts, private keys, seed words, or balances will ever reach us or Matomo’s servers. That data continues to stay exclusively on your machine. IP addresses will be obfuscated before they are recorded by Matomo (e.g. 192.xxx.xxx.xxx). Data collected is also limited to the application, with exception of knowledge on your OS and browser brand/version.
By opting-in, users will help us answer questions such as:
- What features do people use the most?
- What parts of the application do people run into the most trouble with?
- Where do people drop off when completing certain actions?
Three years ago, when the ecosystem was still young and our development team was smaller, it was relatively easy to feel the heartbeat of what users needed. Our users were Dapp developers and crypto enthusiasts — two audiences that we understood well and already communicated with.
However, the ecosystem has shifted towards a more dynamic and diverse group of users. Users who are not as crypto-savvy. Users who are more dapp-centric than investment-centric. Users from a growing number of international locations. As we continue to build a product that lowers the barrier of entry into blockchain technology, we must serve these users as well.
When Will MetaMetrics Launch?
We hope to begin rolling out MetaMetrics to production within the next few weeks.
Between now and then, this is what will happen:
- Additional posts will go out, describing our rationale, our tooling, our security, and the goals that these metrics will help us advance.
- We will open our ears. We are still a team that hopes to continue serving the community. Do you have concerns or have a question? Ask us! If you are mad, tell us! We want to ensure a strong execution that meets our community’s standards and needs.
- We will begin notifying people in-app of the upcoming changes at least a week before the rollout and link them to this blog post.
What Happens If I Opt Out of MetaMetrics?
We understand that this space contains plenty of privacy-minded users when it comes to data collection — we respect their stance fully. That is why we are committed to an opt-in model that has information readily available and easy to understand. If for any reason that you would like to opt-out, the option is immediate.
There is no consequence for not opting-in or opting-out. Choose based on your conscience!
In the next few articles, we’ll dive deeper into interviews with our developers, designers, and project manager to hear straight from the source, as well as make posts emphasizing the importance of privacy and our responsibility within the product to enforce that.
Finally, we hope to make this roll-out as transparent as possible. We are eager to hear our community speak and we hope to have a constructive period of input to make sure that concerns are addressed and acted on if needed.
To a better product and to a better ecosystem!