Germany’s Largest Bitcoin Exchange Hands Over Customer Data Voluntarily
The biggest bitcoin marketplace in Germany, Bitcoin.de, has been giving customer data to German police voluntarily. According to the country’s regional Motherboard publication, investigators in the region have been dedicating energy towards taking down darknet markets. The report details it is “easy for police to access user data” from the Bitcoin.de exchange.
Data given to police includes bitcoin addresses, names, associated emails, locations, account summaries, IP addresses, and login history. One customer, Stephan Jansen from Southern Germany is not pleased with Bitcoin.de’s voluntary disclosure.
“I am speechless,” explains Jansen. “I thought this is a serious company and that my data is safe there.”
Bitcoin.de tells the publication that its “legal reporting obligation” is justified. According to the report, the company emphasized it has had a “trustworthy cooperation with different authorities.” The data collection follows a series of darknet market investigations in Germany and global law enforcement. A professor and data protection officer from Hamburg, Johannes Caspar, says Germany’s Money Laundering Act (AMLA) says there is no legal obligation to give data to police. According to Caspar data collection like that can only be requested by the courts and the prosecutor’s office.