In a world where almost everything you do can be watched, former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich and his company Brave today launched a private web browser to keep your experience as clean as track-free as possible.
When we browse the internet, tracking happens. Targeting happens. Advertising and popups happen. And it can be annoying as hell when all we want is the story. Apparently former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich felt the same way, and his new company Brave has been working on a solution.
Today, they launched their solution as an open source project, releasing version 0.7 for developers and early adopters. There are versions for iOS and Android, as well as OS X/Windows/Linux (all available through GitHub). The browser is connected to a private cloud that uses anonymous ads.
Eich explains how it works in the About section of the new site:
Brave browsers block everything: initial signaling/analytics scripts that start the programmatic advertising "dirty pipe", impression-tracking pixels, and ad-click confirmation signals. By default Brave will insert ads only in a few standard-sized spaces. We find those spaces via a cloud robot (so users don't have to suffer, even a few canaries per screen size-profile, with ad delays and battery draining). We will target ads based on browser-side intent signals phrased in a standard vocabulary, and without a persistent user id or highly re-identifiable cookie.
The browser sees everything you do, including actions to stop that annoying phenomenon of retargeting where an ad chases you around the Web, often for something you just bought or decided not to buy. We keep user data out of our cloud Brave Vault by default. It's better for you and us that we don't store any of your data without your permission.
The browser blocks harmful ads, redirects sites to HTTPS, and blocks tracking pixels and cookies. Eich said the new browser will go a long way to making browsing a more private experience and will work much better than standard ad blockers.
It will be interesting to see just how private the new browser is, but given Eich's previous experience with Mozilla/Firefox, he should be up on all the problems facing users. If this new browser can "fix the web," as he wants to do, I'll give it a try.