Ledger devices have been used for a better part of a decade; and they are indeed excellent hardware wallets. They are supported by numerous third-party crypto wallets, and arguably provide the best consumer-end cryptocurrency security out there.
But the problem lies within the company’s first-party application – Ledger Live.
Ledger Live - What is it?
Ledger Live is the main application used to interact with your Ledger hardware wallet. It can install various apps that are required for interacting with specific blockchains, update your Ledger device firmware and keep track of a list of crypto assets.
In other words, for the average user, the application is necessary to actually use the ledger device, even if the user only intends to use it with third party applications.
Ledger Live’s Data Collection Policy
Here’s what Ledger’s Chairman and Co-Founder says, replying to a post on Reddit:
And here’s what Ledger’s official website says:
Despite what the Ledger representative says, not only does Ledger Live collect your IP address, but they retain the data for 5 years. 5 YEARS!
In addition to this, they collect other data such as transactional data (i.e. likely means sending and receiving to your wallets and their wallet addresses), your clicks and actions and a few other things as seen above.
Privacy is a right, not a luxury
Now inevitably, there will be some people saying, “Why are you so concerned if you have nothing to hide?”
How about this: Would you be okay with showing your browser history to anyone? Let us assume you do not have anything ‘dodgy’ in your history; it is still uncomfortable showing YOUR data to others.
Privacy is a fundamental human right. Maybe you don’t care too much as to your privacy as an individual, but the principle of it is that privacy should be afforded by default to anyone.
It is to be expected that Ledger Live collects some anonymous data; that is acceptable. However, that fact that they retain your IP address - for 5 years - is nothing short of shocking.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you would like to share your thoughts.