How my viewpoint has shifted over the years. 10-20 years ago this would have instantly turned me off, but now this is the most exciting line in the entire thing to me. As long as we all expect free, we can't expect privacy.
@Brave team, who I rather expect will be reading this, I can't believe that Cliqz doing tracking on me to improve its results for free will be in my interests if it's free. But if I'm a paying customer, you might be able to convince me that you're doing some semi-invasive tracking but not actually selling it to anyone, because it wouldn't be worth losing me as a customer.
I'm actually excited about the idea of a search engine that I pay for. Been waiting for DDG to do it but last I knew there's still no option there.
Grocery stores track you because they can use it to analyze and increase sales, a fairly direct benefit that is difficult to "compete" with as a consumer. Internet companies use it to sell you ads, which is pretty much just about the money, barring exciting conspiracy theories. We can put a decent number on how much money that is, and it really isn't that much money. Facebook makes on the order of $20-40 per year in revenue from a user , and the nature of the business is they do better per user than most other people. For something like Cliqz we could easily be "competing" with a revenue of less than $1/year/user, at which point the business case of that extra dollar vs. the catastrophic loss in business if they get caught is a plausible set of incentives I can believe for them to not do it. Not proof, but plausible.
If you truly wanted to be paranoid, set your device to airplane mode (don’t forget your smartwatch or wallet Tile), cover your face (this shouldn’t be hard these days) and only then venture into a store. Oh, and pay your groceries with cash.
 This article is from 8 years ago, so just imagine how far we came from that time: https://lifehacker.com/how-retail-stores-track-you-using-you...
The rewards card is a much better model in my opinion because while it gives them quite a bit of data, it does provide some anonymity. I'm sure it is possible to reconstruct from that data who I am (i.e. convert it into direct PII like name and address), but that at least takes a lot more effort and processing than if they have my phone number.
Most people are ok giving up SOME privacy for the sake of convenience/cost savings. I doubt most people are truly willing to give up all privacy for said benefits once they understand what they are actually giving up.
They need a phone number. I've never heard of any store actually trying to use it to contact you.
PS: If you ask nicely the cashier will almost always punch in a working number for you. They want the reward points.
Because if you have, your reward card has probably already been linked to your credit card, phone number, email, etc. by now.
You are being rude. The innocent cashier is forced to ask you that question and has no power to change the rules. Why not be polite to them? If you really want to change things, try asking to speak to the manager (after you're done checking out, of course!).
Then the person being rude is the person forcing the cashier to do this. The customer should push back, so the cashier can push back.
The cashier and customer should both realize that neither of them want to do this, and be polite about it.
The cashier has to do that all day, every day though, so I feel like they get a pass.
If the cashier pushes back, they may be punished (up to and including getting fired — there's more competition for cashier-level jobs than you think).
you can be both honest and polite.
Politeness is also relative to whom you are speaking to.
Phone number? 212 555 1212. (You could change to the local area code if you feel like it.)
ZIP code? 90210, in Beverly Hills, of course. Or 01234, which is Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
for my weekly purchase of bread, bacon and ketchup it's definitely not
I'm just glad I'd bought the extended warranty.
Doesn't DDG contradict that?
I use them anyway because they at least claim to be private and haven’t yet given me specific reason to doubt it. I probably should at some point take the time, though, to try to actually understand how they can viably exist in a way that isn’t going to succumb to the same corrupting incentives as google.
- build a useable search engine
- show ads to users
User acquisition is based on word of mouth and a bit of guerrilla marketing: they are a search engine with decent quality that doesn't spy on you.
Not spying and not selling tracking data to others cost them some opportunities but gives them "free" users that would otherwise have stayed with Google.
The last few years Google has been busily lowering their quality so even if DDG haven't improved much they feel very close to Google these days. (Also, retrying in Google takes 2 seconds from DDG, while retrying in DDG after trying in Google first takes 15 seconds and more thinking.)
Note how their predecessor, Google, started out lovable and quirky but then that facade crumbled under the weight of success.
I like DDG, I use DDG, I recommend DDG. And I don't even care about the privacy. All that matters to me is my search habits, emails and business-related-data are controlled by different entities.
But at some point I expect the privacy aspect of DDG will be a memory rather than a current talking point. The incentives are pretty simple.
This is why it's important to have replacements around. Particularly smaller and newer businesses that aren't yet interested in squeezing out every drop from you.
I don't have a problem with those ads, since they're not overly intrusive, they're clearly labeled, and they're not targeted to me based on my personal information. Plus, DDG actually gives me the option to disable ads completely.
That's what "don't be evil" should look like.
I can be an early customer.
> use them anyway because they at least claim to be private
Me too, at least there's probably some chance they get sued if they’re as terrible as Google. But
> haven’t yet given me specific reason to doubt it
I do doubt they’re as private as they could be, because they act a lot like I imagine a honeypot does, hide their source code, and have had serious past privacy problems in other products (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23708166 ‘We’re not collecting your info, our servers are receiving it but just trust us we just throw it away’).
Right, in this context though it's referring to users themselves being tracked. Tracking how well the results to a specific query did doesn't require any sort of user-specific data. You're just logging stats about the results themselves, not the user.
Granted, OP didn't explicitly state they were discussing the most common behaviour in the market, but it remains a stretch to take them to be be stating a law that must be strictly true for any social construct that could be called a market.
When someone tracks you and you don't pay they will try to link your online activities and identify other activities online to tailor an ad to you.
I can confuse and lie to the second group but I can't hide from the first group.
Anything that requires you to pay by credit card means you are already being tracked. For privacy I'm against pay services.
I'm worried about them participating in the global privacy free for all where they sell my info everywhere and abusively correlate it with the info others have to learn things about me.
Search terms are a particularly rich source of this sort of thing.
I don't think "privacy" is much about keeping all info away from people, I think it's about the correlation. Keeping info away is a natural and sensible precaution in an environment of rampant correlation, but if that didn't exist I wouldn't need to resort to complete information starvation.
“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”
Although, I'm not sure it's reasonable to call linear expense growth "cancerous".
Are you ok with this kind of tracking? Genuinely asking... Personally I see it as "less bad" than straight up selling my data to another company, but I would still prefer companies didn't automatically track me at all, and instead relied on interviews with real users. Or at least make the tracking opt-in, Nielsen style.
Asking a user for their opinion about something doesn't generally provide as much valuable insight as monitoring their usage of a product.
I'm not ok with that data being sold at all. I'm not signing up to receive advertisements
You don't get from your first point to here.
The cause of the market failure is that once you give your data to someone, you can't know what they do with it. The solution is for them to never have it in the first place.
This has technical solutions. Your data stays on your device, not their servers, or if it is on their servers then it's encrypted. Don't do anything client-server that could be federated or P2P etc. Publish the source code.
This needs a business model. But "you pay money to fund development and then get software including source code that you run on your device" is a business model. If people want this they can have it. Go stuff cash into some open source projects by subscribing to their Patreon or Substack or whatever people are using now, and then use them.
The alternative doesn't actually solve the problem. You give your data to Google, the government says Google can't do X with it, but you still have no way to verify that they're not doing X because once they have your data, X happens entirely at Google where you have no way of observing it.
It also fails to protect against covert defections by both parties where the government gets all your data in exchange for looking the other way while the corporation does whatever they want with it too. You need to be able to prove that it's not happening, or it is.
Especially if we add bounties for catching Google's transgressions, I expect we could do quite well open-source, personalized regulation.
What happens if they lie? They have the data, they give you the code that does the user-facing thing with the data, then they copy the data to some other system where some unspecified foreign subsidiary uses it for arbitrary nefarious purposes without telling anybody.
And as much as it might help to have a law requiring cloud services to publish all their source code so people can verify that they're doing at least that part of what they say they're doing, do you really expect that to be enacted?
I don't think a law requiring all code to be published would get passed. But key code for, say, personalization algorithms? That seems doable. Places like health departments, ag inspectors, and workplace safety agencies get to inspect the physical machinery of production all the time. No reason we can't start extending that in to the virtual realm. Companies won't be excited for it, but they might prefer it to some of the more heavy-handed proposals going around now. (E.g., section 230 reform, antitrust concerns.)
Hopefully not the kind of regulation that puts a breaking burden on companies like Brave, while letting big tech do whatever they want after a token fine.
Microsoft charges you for a Windows license and still tracks you. I have little doubt Adobe, et al, are selling your data. Amazon surely makes money when I buy something from their site, but they track me anyway. Etc, etc.
Lastly, the reason why regulations don’t work is regulations is written by lobbyists here in the US. Guess who these lobbyists represented?
No, but it can remove the necessity.
Some people can be satisfied with a business of X profitability, but once it goes public there is really no hope IMHO.
Groceries are also one of the most price sensitive items people buy and grocery stores run on incredibly thin margins so it's dubious to believe that a grocery story has much control over their pricing, independant of a loyalty card. If they could raise prices after the introduction of a card to increase total profits, why couldn't they have done it before then?
Far more likely is that they're using the extra revenue from the card to lower prices for you and gain market share from their competitors but the lower prices are swallowed up by general price increases.
A better example would be something you pay for, and you’re still tracked with no compensation.
Does that answer your question?
In fact it does the opposite. People with a demonstrated willingness to pay for stuff are more lucrative to track.
"Oh but you don't have to use your loyalty card."
Technically true but it's not "get a discount if you use your loyalty card" it's now "pay really inflated prices if you don't."
If consumers didn't use these services because of such behavior, it would no longer be profitable to do so.
It's not the job of the market to protect your privacy, that's your job. Don't use a search engine that tracks you if you're worried about being tracked. It really is that simple.
As for guarantees about not being tracked, that's agreed upon in the ToS – so if the ToS says "we can track you however you want" (e.g. Googles) then don't use it. If it says "we won't track you" (DDG's) then do.
Demand based systems aren’t always a good measure. Human trafficking has demand and people use those services. And there’s a, sadly, large number of people who want and purchase if available. No it needs to be fought on the supply side by stopping traffickers and protecting trafficked.
Companies use targeted ads because they work and are available. Not because they are moral.
Tracking is amoral, human trafficking is immoral.
Targeted ads and the data slurping involved is immoral to me. Not human trafficking bad, but probably as bad as working for coco cola.
I don’t choose to have my data included for targeted. Victims don’t choose to be trafficked. Marketers choose to buy ads using the data. Perverts choose to buy sex from victims.
Each has people choosing to use, and not choosing to be victims. Both have an intermediary selling the ads or the humans.
That is what you are agreeing to when you agree to the ToS.
There is no "victim" here, because you have agency.
Even if I never log in and go to Google.com without an account they are using data on me and I never clicked anything.
I don’t have agency to avoid Google collecting data on me unless I stop using the internet. Perhaps if I always use TOR or something.
And that’s me who works in this area day in and day out. “Average users” definitely don’t have agency and can’t be expected to give informed consent to these data collections.
In medical research before informed consent  was law, experiments would have “click through TOS” that patients would accept without understanding, often with some token offering.
I don’t think it’s accurate or fair to say that random users clicking through agreements in exchange for free services have agency.
But that's not how everybody thinks. The Craigslist leaders, for example. From 2006: "She recounts how UBS analyst Ben Schachter wanted to know how Craigslist plans to maximize revenue. It doesn’t, Mr. Buckmaster replied (perhaps wondering how Mr. Schachter could possibly not already know this). 'That definitely is not part of the equation,' he said, according to MediaPost. 'It’s not part of the goal.'" 
I do agree that privacy regulation is necessary to set a floor, though. Since our current system over-rewards juicing short-term metrics, we have to compensate by blocking the worst of the exploitative behaviors.
Brave buying Cliqz is the first corporate acquisition that's actually made me feel better about the acquirer, ever. I have no idea how to react to that. Keeping up the dev blog would probably make me start recommending Brave, where before I recommended against it.
Incidentally, do you know what's happening to the Cliqz browser?
The paid option hasn't been explored yet, and for good reason I think: in principle, you need training data for it to be any good. And, again in principle, the only way to amass user data is for the service to be free, leveraging that to sharpen the tool.
So in principle, I reckon this is doomed to fail. But I might be wrong. I HOPE I'm wrong. And that's enough.
I happen to disagree; almost any for-profit business is going to be doing some sort of aggregated usage data. I mean at the most basic level they've got to be tracking the number of customers they have. That doesn't mean all for-profit businesses ultimately devolve into data selling businesses.
Although perhaps ohduran is advancing a more nuanced argument. In particular perhaps the more detailed usage data you track, the more likely the siren call of selling that data is to be attractive. In order to compete with Google on search quality, perhaps you do need sufficiently detailed usage data that the call becomes irresistible.
I'm still not convinced that's true, but I could see how it plays out.
In that regard, the "siren call", as dwohnitmok says, it's a very appropriate way of encapsulating what I meant. You can be bold and not do it, but as soon as you have investors, they are going to demand it , pressure you into doing it, and if you do not comply replace you with someone who will not be sitting in a potentially profitable line of business and do nothing.
I don't see how a paid search engine has a disadvantage here.
So in practice, the more data you have, the better the engine is. I don't have a theoretical reason for why that is the case, but thing is I don't actually need it.
Just checked wikipedia, and it seems it'll be ten years ago this June that google stole + and forced quoting upon us for pure vanity reasons.
foo +bar +baz
was equivalent to
foo "bar" "baz"
foo AND bar AND baz. It would be more accurate to type it as foo + bar + baz.
Is there any reason I should think Brave won't prioritize profit motives first in 5, 10 years when investors or markets expect returns?
OTA television, for example, had been providing decades worth of extremely expensive programming for free. And this lost us absolutely no privacy.
There is no reason that ads have to invade our privacy. They can go back to targeting based on broad geographical and age demographics.
Let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s say the government passes a law that says that ads cannot be based on any factors more privacy invasive than your zip code and 10 year age range. It’s not like companies would stop paying for ads. They would pay less, but probably still enough to maintain free services, like Google did in its initial days.
Not if the project is a non-profit. Wikipedia is free and privacy friendly (or pay what you want through donation if you want).
I barely trust my ISP.
Short answer: Yes, there will be ads eventually, even if you pay for it.
I wonder if that's because they're using Bing search results rather than crawling the web themselves?
I'm convinced that it's possible to build a better search engine than Google by using community-influenced results, rather than try to do magic.
I'd definitely pay for a search engine where we can collectively downvote to hell any SEO spam. That would be the only way to incentivize sites to provide actual quality rather than cheating the algorithms.
Paid is still centralized. Decentralization isn't an answer, because people make their own decisions and a collective decision contains a lot of power. The only way to achieve true decentralization is to eliminate communication entirely. I believe it is referred to "Babel's tower". Centralization means we have no freedom and no privacy. With decentralization, 51% could conspire to murder the 49%. That experiment, taken after a few iterations, would quickly turn us extinct.
So, that doesn't sound like a sound plan. In fact it sounds a lot like everything Mozilla tried and failed to make money with in the last few years. Maybe users will pay for X .... nope they won't pay for X either. Ironically, Mozilla's main business remains reselling Google's search.
What's Brave's business model at this point? I'm assuming that the attention token business is at this point not really delivering substantial revenue.
Anyway, a couple of weaknesses here with both these business models (search and BAT):
- They are tied to Brave the browser, which while popular has a tiny market share. So, both solutions are cut off from the vast majority of users, including the fraction of a percent likely to be an early adopter of this (i.e. by actually paying). Fractions of fractions don't add up to a whole lot of revenue.
- That browser happens to be built by Google and also depended upon by Apple & Microsoft (i.e. Chromium). Between those three, they control access to most of the users via their apps stores and operating systems. They also control the main contenders Cliqz is supposed to compete with: Google, Bing & DDG (which is Bing). That sounds like an uncomfortable place to be as a would be competitor. Also, there's the Apple and Google tax to worry about with any kind of revenue: Brave users putting more cash in the coffers of Apple and Google basically.
- Users might pay for quality. That raises the question how you will get that. DDG is popular but a key reason for people to not use it remains that sometimes they just aren't good enough. And it's basically Bing, which depends on MS putting loads of cash and resources in it. I found myself reaching for Google a lot in the half year I used it until ultimately I decided that I did not have time for too many fruitless searches where I wasted time before ending up finding what I needed on Google. I reverted back to Google. And that's not because I enjoy being tracked or in their clutches: they are just that good.
- Brave as a walled garden for exclusive paid features does not make sense: it's too small. Both BAT and search as commercially offered features would have more users (and thus paying users) if they weren't tied to Brave the browser. IMHO both would actually need to be structured under a non profit organization for long term success (for users, not for Brave).
Spotify is something I'll gladly pay for because it just works and is less hassle than ads and playlists and searching for youtube videos.
Right now you can pay to host an instance of the internet meta-search engine SearX: https://searx.github.io/searx/
Would be a nice study to determine the monthly rate one is willing to pay in order not to the be the service.
How much time do you spend in search bar and results versus one of several non-coding text editors that you subscribe to? Price accordingly.
However if someone's expenses grow with userbase, everything you said is right.
A lot of the clickstream data you can buy comes from browser extensions btw, and often gets collected without users knowing about it (looking at you, "Web of Trust"). I think their reliance on such data was the reason Cliqz acquired Ghostery, which also collects a copious amount of "anonymous" data from its users. On one hand it's a neat idea since you're basically standing on Googles' shoulders, on the other hand it's at least questionable for a "privacy-first" company as the generation of the search index is based on personal data mined from (often unwitting) users.
That said I don't know how their system evolved, so maybe today they have another way to build their index.
> In my understanding what Cliqz did, at least in the beginning, was to buy clickstream data and then build an index on top of that
I don't know if that's what cliqz actually did, but if they did do that it sounds very similar to what bing did.
The Ghostery extension is open source, so feel free to link to anything in the code that looks suspect to you
Also, I saw a lot of "anonymous" clickstream data offered by other companies, which was often trivial to de-anonymize. We did a DEF CON 25 talk about it, just google "Dark Data DEF CON 25". Robustly anonymizing high-dimensional data like user clickstreams is practically impossible, and often knowing a combination of 4-7 websites a user regularly visits is enough to identify him/her in a pool of millions of users (see the talk for details), so I'm highly doubtful about any company that claims it can robustly anonymize such data. If you're confident your data is anonymous why not release a large sample and have researchers look at it?
So while I'm not saying Ghostery is also doing that I don't have a lot of good faith in these data collection practices in general (also, I think before Cliqz acquired Ghostery it collected a lot of data like cookies from the users). Again, it's a smart way to collect data but I wouldn't call it very privacy-friendly.
However, you are assuming that HumanWeb data collection is record-linkable, which is not the case, precisely to avoid this attack.
If what is being collected is linkable: e.g. (user_id, url_1), ... (urser_id, url_n). No matter how you anonymize user_id, it will eventually leak. A single url containing personal identifiable information, e.g. a username, will compromise the whole session. No matter how sophisticated the user_id generation is. The real problem, privacy-wise, is the fact that record can be linked to the same origin. An attacker (or the collector) has the ability to know if two records have the same origin.
The anonymization of HumanWeb, however, ensures that linkability across data points is not present. Hence, an attacker cannot know if two records come from the same origin. As a consequence, the fact that one url might give away user data, for instance a username, it would not compromise all the urls sent by that person.
If you are interested in more details I recommend this article: https://0x65.dev/blog/2019-12-03/human-web-collecting-data-i...
[Disclaimer I'm one of the authors]
Anyway, it's great that Cliqz did this work and I don't want to diminish it, I'm just very cautious when companies claim they're only collecting anonymous data, there were just too many cases in which promises have been broken.
There is a better way to service users interests; initially it was "keywords" - but now it can be more structured;
"I want to learn [topic]" and the response may be a step-by-step how-to on how to learn [topic]
TBH this was a subject addressed on NPR this morning.. People staying at home are talking about the old infra of edu where people cant be in person - but nobody is talking about the opportunity on changing the structure of learning at all - there should be seen the opportunity on changing the way in which we learn something.
On one browser installation I stopped getting payouts, reached out to them via reddit (like they asked for) and provided all the information they asked for: ghosted.
I'm also a publisher, for weeks now I can't login and it seems like I'm not getting payouts anymore either. Never got any mail about it. Sent them an email about it February 23rd, no answer so far.
If I'd have to guess, the one client somehow got blacklisted maybe because I used too many Brave installations and they think they're fraudulent? (Though I only used like 5, Brave & Brave Beta each on a desktop & laptop, then on another desktop just one installation. Also, I still get payouts for the other installations.) Or it's just another one of the bugs that eats payouts and users' BATs.
Publisher account I even have less of an idea, it's totally fine, teen-rated gaming websites with a couple of thousand organic (search traffic) uniques/month. I did sent BAT from my unconnected Browsers (you only can connect a maximum of 4 browsers to a wallet, ever) to my site to tip myself.
As far as I know that isn't against the TOS either (even makes them more money because they douple dip).
But, even if they don't suspend you without any notice, it's completely non-transparent as a publisher too.
You get zero statistics, just a bundled payout each month. I'd never use them like this as a publisher for bigger sites, pretty sure I mailed them about that too in the past and also did not get any reply.
The company's got a long list of shady practices and "mistakes" where they haven't paid creators and/or screwed over users for their own profits. Even if you give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they just constantly make honest mistakes, no other browser dominates the news every other month with so many privacy scandals.
This is not the prevailing mentality of "most" web users, in fact it's not even possible for it to be because the most common user agent is Chrome on Android.
Brave is an attempt to funnel as many oblivious users as possible into a pipeline where native ads are automatically blocked, for the precise purpose of being able to execute the "hostage situation" that you mention. The premise that the target market for Brave is the tiny group of people who are willing to look at one kind of ad (provided by Brave) but not a different kind of ad (provided by the publisher) so that the publisher can get a fraction of what they would have received from the native ad (if they opt into a crypto scam) is laughable. Most people who want to block ads just want to block all ads.
If you haven't been roasted by your users over this, I suppose that's informative about who the users are.
The Brave FAQ also says
> Are all ads blocked or can users allow some or all? Tracking scripts (trackers) and ads that depend on them are blocked by default.
So this implies that Brave does not even block all ads by default now? If you go back to 2019  the same line in the FAQ says "Ads and trackers are blocked by default".
Our early website writers oversimplified. We didn't block ads so much as tracking, so the text changed. But then the code evolved, and now we block both using the same lists as uBO, only with aggressive shields required to block first-party ads that don't have tracking or whose tracking we nullify. This requires more nuance to describe. I'll get someone to work on the website docs, but the ground truth is what the browser does. If you set your global shields to aggressive and see an ad, please file a bug or DM me on Twitter and we'll work to fix it. Thanks.
I never opted in to ads on the homescreen of Brave. How do I opt-out of them?
The Tor leak was already fixed in Brave Nightly when independently discovered. We were fixing as part of a HackerOne bug report, which per standard practice is not disclosed until patched in all releases. The mistake there was not forgetting to disclose, it was not airlifting the fix into Brave Stable and intermediate releases right away. We have already made process fixes; automated network leak testing is the biggest one.
If you don't like crypto-tokens, don't use them. They're optional in Brave. They have no privacy impact.
We've used Fastly in the past to drop IP, implemented using VCL. I believe we're using other vendors now as well. Unlikely to use FoxyProxy but the idea is the same. We don't log IPs and don't let them get to us or to Google or other service providers, where possible.
If you are interested, https://brave.com/brave-private-cdn/ describes how we go to even more effort to avoid seeing fingerprints as well as identifiers including IP addresses.
The whole crypto thing in Brave especially rubs me the wrong way, it feels like a Ponzi scheme.
It’s basically just convenient
And even being an anti-masker in the COVID19 context, however misguided that might be, isn't really related to the browser's functionality.
The subject of this sub-thread discussion is that it's about "Brave has a long way to go to build real trust." and so it's not limited to functionality, it's about trust. Therefore a leader who is seen to be "misguided" in some parts is relevant to trust in the project they lead.
I agree it's not relevant to functionality but this sub-thread is about trust which is more of softer issue.
It's nothing like, for example, the clear connections between the political views of the execs/funders of Parler and Gab and their their products.
I suppose I'm reading JacobSuperslav's comment differently than you. You're reading them as saying (in response to a comment listing reasons not to trust Brave) "here are some additional reasons not to trust Brave", which you're saying doesn't follow. I agree that it doesn't follow, but I'm reading their comment as saying "Brave's untrustworthiness is one reason not to use it, but another reason why you might not want to use it is..."
For me it's sort of the other way around entirely. I don't view corporations as "responsible" or "sharing in the guilt", in fact I don't really see corporations as moral entities at all, except insofar as that's sometimes useful to persuade their CEOs to do things (e.g. not destroy the planet with pollution).
I don't know anything about Brave's corporate structure (and don't care to), so take the following as hypothetical. In any business, there are a number of people at the top trying to get rich. And that business will also employ any number of people who are not going to profit (e.g. janitors). I'm sure any business the size of Google employs a few racist janitors, it's just the law of large numbers. I don't "blame" Google for employing these people, nor does it dissuade me from doing business with them.
But when the person at the top running the company and directly profiting from it has terrible views, maybe I have a moral obligation not to give them my money, if that's possible. And if the board of directors of a company chooses to retain a CEO with deplorable views, maybe I have an obligation not to give them my money, either. So I think you can argue that someone has an obligation not to do business with Brave without saying that you blame the corporation as such. This goes double when the people are the top are funneling those profits into campaigns to deny people their rights.
At a high enough level of abstraction, a corporation is just a profit-creation engine. At a high enough level of abstraction, cancer is just a reproduction-oriented microbe. I suppose it doesn't make sense to blame either of them for what it does. Even so, I don't think it's right to aid them.
> society's ability to function as a diverse collection of viewpoints.
I worry about this too, quite a lot actually. But I think one requirement for society to have the ability to function as a diverse collection of viewpoints is that we collectively not tolerate people who have views antithetical to society functioning in that way. It's one thing to believe that it's wrong for gay people to be married: it's another thing to push for the state to prevent them from marrying.
I am in favor of gay marriage, but I believe society can survive without it. I'm not sure it can survive without political compartmentalization.
I guess you could call me a libertarian in that I believe that the first and best defense from government, corporate and mob tyranny is to just go somewhere else. The enforcement of mere majority moral beliefs on the entirety of society directly threatens that belief. You may say that's just democracy, but I disagree; I think majority rule is not quite the same. ("51% democracy", if you will.) The flourishing of a society and its peoples is maximized if locally contradictory views can exist simultaneously, preferably by a process of self-sorting. But such a process would, if moral fault is propagated along corporate and financial lines, either damage the economy by effectively decoupling large sections from each other (you see this in the right-wing news market, which has become almost totally disjunct from the left-wing news market, and the split is propagating across logistics lines), or else damage liberty by enforcing the most effective and motivating (!not! the most morally just) beliefs through chilling effects and monopoly positions. That's why I think the decision to support a corporation must be decoupled from the views of the employees, so that the political arena can be insulated from the economical one, allowing a connected economy at the same time as a diverse society.
The fact that he is anti-science and happy to play fast and loose with other people's lives should give you a hint how he might run a company.
The thing is that Cliqz was "majority-owned by Hubert Burda Media" , and that "The deal, terms undisclosed, makes Cliqz owner Hubert Burda Media a Brave shareholder." 
Doesn't Hubert Burda Media have a interest in removing ad-blocking technologies from the web? Couldn't partnering with Brave get them into a privileged position where they are capable of displaying ads and build user profiles?
I must admit that I find this business model genius: replace website ads with your ads, pocket the revenue, and "pay" users in a self-issued cryptocurrency. Stealing ad revenue from websites while simultaneously doing an ICO.
As a user, I prefer Brave's ads though. They're not actually on websites. And calling adblocking "stealing" seems like a bit of an exaggeration. Brave still pays out a larger share of their revenue to publishers than Google does. As a publisher, Brave's scheme seems fair to me too. The only one really hurt is Google.
> Brave Search's index there will be informed the activities of participating Brave users, in terms of the URLs they search for or click on, and adjacent web resources that don't require extensive crawling.
This is quite similar to Amazon's now-defunct A9.com which, iirc, had some form of hybrid search engine that was built on search / ad results from Google and the data Amazon collected via the Alexa toolbar.
> The Brave Search team has written a paper explaining its use of the term, titled "GOGGLES: Democracy dies in darkness, and so does the Web." The browser upstart aims to replace the tyranny of Google's inscrutable, authoritative index with a multiverse of indices defined by anyone with the inclination to do so.
Again, very similar to WAIS. Has Eich been speaking to Brewster Kahle? :)
KYC-hostage demands from a company that claims to be "privacy focused"...
But they don't have nearly the same level of integrity that Lavabit did.
And, of course, if they're exaggerating the "but but muh regulations" aspect, then none of the above applies.
They have done exactly what you are proposing, in that they don't require users to provide KYC to use the browser. KYC is only required to use an additional, optioal feature inside the browser. It works well without any private information, and it even allows some wallet features like redistributing your tokens to content creators you like.
They haven't done this:
> like Lavabit, they would have simply discontinued the "custodial wallet service" that they claim is subject to anti-privacy regulation
> Brave also envisions users taking a more active role in their search results through a filtering mechanism.
"It allows different groups to run their own sort of Turing complete filter rules, sort of like ad blocking rules in the search service and not in the browser, to have a community moderated view of the global index," he [Brendan Eich, Brave founder] explained. "It's called 'Goggles.'"
I'd actually pay nominal amounts of money for a search service that had my interests in mind; as opposed to advertisers and thought police.
Copyright interests pay large cash to make sure you know is truly best for you. You could show a little gratitude.
This is the future of services on the internet. The 'cult of free' should die off as people realize they don't want to be bought and sold like digital cattle.
payment in Basic Attention Token... isn't that exactly how the Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc advertising business models work.
BAT is basically a reward for watching adds right?
I like the idea of paying my content producers directly better, see for example https://coil.com. Cut out the middleman
(All of which are not really free because we pay for them with taxes. )
> Users who receive a version of Firefox with Cliqz will have their browsing activity sent to Cliqz servers, including the URLs of pages they visit.
Modified installers, randomly served to customers with no notification, opt-out by default, and sending full browser history to random servers is just too much for me to ever trust them that they have my privacy interests as their goal.
Good privacy focused search requires novel innovations and a solid attempt to "solve" the problem rather than simply wrapping some other engine.
Shameless Plug: I’m involved in a project called Private Search , and we are always interested in partnerships with browsers. Feel free to contact me directly. My email is in my profile!
And in the case of DDG the results come from Bing. From the rain in the eaves.
Plus, we don't know DDG respects privacy, it's just some generic statement they make.
Basically, they would be doing a similar strategy that Microsoft used against Netscape. As I remember it, in the MSFT/Netscape case, they gave away IE and the web server, crippling Netscape's ability to make money. MSFT didn't have to make money off either as they made money off the OS.
In this case, ads are the core of Google revenue. Apple, however, doesn't need to care about that (yes, it would be a loss in revenue). So they dump Google and Google loses a major source of revenue and data.
Obviously there would be some anti-trust issues - I assume that's what is holding them back.
Microsoft did: https://www.bing.com/.
If the trend of paid search engines or browsers start I am buying. Ads and tracking are cancer of modern life. It's literally offering free stuff to make your life worse in exchange. It's "I will give you this item if you let me punch you in the face" kind of deal.
I can't wait to support a company that collects money for their software and uses part of it to fight the cancer.
When the messaging is “we’re desperate for money” and I don’t trust you, why would I expect you to value my privacy? I won’t be trying brave again until they at least try to address this.
The messaging is not 'we're desperate for money', it's 'we're not funded by selling our users' personal data and are working to make a browser product that can self-sustain', something that, as of now, no other browser has been able to do.
When I ask, “why should I trust brave?”, the response I get is biased gaslighting. I guess that means I shouldn’t trust them.
When I provided a cite wherein Brave was caught whitelisting trackers, I was responded to with basically "those who are so quick to criticize Brave" don't give the same scrutiny to other browsers. Whelp, other browsers don't position themselves as the Privacy King like Brave and its adherents do.
Whataboutism isn't a defense.
Your description of it being gaslighting is very apt.
Firefox has a default search deal with Google that makes most of their revenue. So does Safari (edit: the Safari deal of course does not make most of Apple's revenue, but it is rumored to be big, multiple $B/yr). These are how personal data flows to Google for big money back. (Chrome is worse: if you log into a Google account in any tab, then unless you opt out via your account settings, your navigation is tracked by the mothership.)
Brave doesn't have such a Google deal, and Brave Search won't collect personal or re-identifiable data.
"Brave Software's co-founder and CEO, Brendan Eich, said on Twitter that he didn't believe there was anything wrong with injecting affiliate codes into web addresses. However, it seems the backlash worked, as Brave's developers are introducing a toggle for the suggestions, and the functionality will be disabled by default starting with the next stable release."
I doubt Google will mess more than they have with Chromium, with Microsoft, Samsung, and Opera (not to mention Yandex) all using it. This is the way evolutionary kernels work (see Constantine Dovrolis's work). Get over it, and stop blaming the little browsers!
I really love ipfs work they did and completely ready that not everything will pan out.
1. Privacy is a feature, not a platform. If the search engine cannot deliver better results than google or bing (a tall order) then there is no reason to use it no matter how private.
2. Google has a 20+ year head start and billions invested. You will not catch up playing the same game (eg - broad search). Google, for all its faults, is amazing technology. If you try to be a general search engine and compete I do not see a win.
3. Find another strategy, like BETTER search results within a niche. Curated by subject matter experts and enthusiasts.
4. Source your search results from trustworthy data sources. SEO has ruined search. Google setup the rules and the Black/Grey/Whitehat practitioners out-smartted them every step of the way. It is full of crappy data sources.
5. Curation, not scale is the key here. I don't see a win for Brave.
For example, if I want to learn about a country, I do not want any travel related stuff in my search results. On the other hand, if I am looking for ideas for my next holidays, throw all the flight, hotel, beach infos about that country at me that you have.
Or give me a button that limits my search result to stackoverflow and stackexchange. Their own search engine sucks ass, so i have to rely on google (using "site:stackoverflow.com").
Give me this and a decent search results, and you have a paying customer.
Recording and intersecting search trails is covered by this patent:
The rationale is here:
(I'm not sure if even duplicated)
Brave’s approach seems to be to straddle the line a bit between free and paid — the article says there will be an option to pay for a completely ad-free version of the Brave Search service, while also having a free option that is ad supported (albeit via the unique BAT model).
It’s exciting to see these types of services starting to become available. Competition and user choice in search is a good thing for everyone involved.
Disclaimer: I work at Neeva, a subscription based never-any-ads search engine. These opinions are my own.
There will be Goggles created by creationists, anti-vaccination sup- porters or flat-earthers. However, the biases will be explicit, and therefore, the choice is a conscious one. We do not anticipate any need for censorship in the context of Goggles. Clearly illegal and sensitive content like child pornography or extreme violence should already be filtered out by the host search engine at the index layer. Consequently, such content should not be surfaced by any Goggle.
> end the debate about search engine bias by turning search result output over to a community-run filtering system called Goggles
Not sure why something "community-run" would automatically/necessarily solve bias... So looking forward to deeper thinking by the Brave team.
Well, pigs are tasty in the first place. Secondly, this plays on the assumption that pigs are filthy animals, which is very wrong. They like water, they like to get wet precisely because they like to be clean from parasites on skin. The fact that they do this in mud is because how humans are raising them in small filthy enclave. Given the choice, pigs will go and bathe in clean water, not mud. Or go ask any hunter to tell if they saw wild boars that are full of mud instead of actually being clean.
The ad system is off by default, AKA opt-in. Did you hear otherwise?
Also not having to install a 3rd pary ad blocker (uBlock Origin) makes me feel more comfortable. Firefox should ship with a good ad blocker - it does not.
I've not played around with BAT yet - it's on my TODO list.
Brave seems to be pushing the boundaries more than other browsers, and it'll be interesting to watch where things go.
I don't trust their promises.
I guess there's the loss in privacy where it's known what browser I use, but that's not the kind of privacy loss that worries me.
They've got to pay the bills somehow, and while they should have been more up-front about doing it this way, and it is a breach of trust, it still landed in the realm of "reasonable asking for forgiveness" to me.
> I don't trust their promises.
Maybe I'm just not seeing which promise it was that was broken so badly.
The unspoken promise that web browsers should be impartial user agents that render the content as its authors intended, rather than man-in-the-middle agents that modify the content as they see fit.
The fact this change also benefitted Brave authors directly is an additional breach of trust.
Inexcusable in my opinion, and with the other shady cryptocurrency dealings mentioned in a sibling comment, it's enough for me to never want to use their browser or anything associated with them.
I appreciate they're trying to change the status quo of how the web works and is monetized today, but they started on the wrong foot and their reputation is forever tarnished in my eyes.
- It monetises the content created by other people. As someone who lives off the content I create, I'd take offence to that, particularly if it changes already monetised links.
That's incorrect. Brave added a feature to the browser which would list Affiliate Links, if any, in pre-search UI. As the user typed something into the address-bar (e.g. 'Bitcoin'), Brave (the browser) would check local data to see if there were any relevant affiliate links. If it found one, it would enumerate it among the other search suggestions in the address-bar dropdown.
Note, affiliate links were not inserted into pages. Links on pages were not modified. Requests en-route were not re-routed. There were many ways people described this feature; most of them were incorrect. So what was the problem?
Our implementation of this feature had a mistake; it matched against fully-qualified URLs. As such, if you typed 'binance.us' into your address bar, and Brave had an affiliate code for that domain (which would be visibly shown before the user navigates), the browser sent you to the affiliate link instead of the non-affiliate link.
When this issue was brought to our attention, we confirmed the (undesired) behavior, owned the mistake, fixed the issue, and confirmed that no revenue would be made from that affiliate link. Mistakes do happen in software, and they will happen with Brave (try as we might to avoid them). What's important is that we moved quickly, fixed the issue, and maintained transparency.
Traffic attribution is not uncommon in browsers though; open Firefox and type something in your address bar. When you hit Enter, you'll find that Firefox adds a traffic-attribution token to the URL too (although they do this only after the request is being issued; Brave showed the token before navigation).
I hope this helps provide a bit of context to a very misunderstood bug in Brave's past.
And contrary to upthread, we never "replaced links in web pages".
Also, when people got upset, Brave changed it too. It's not like they promised to never make money. I don't see that as a reason to trust Brave any less. It seems like a good influence on the web.
I am using Firefox and I trust Mozilla more than I trust Bravo.
See the Tom Scott and BAT incident. Kinda shady how it was handled.
Just a few weeks ago he went on an anti-Fauci and anti-mask conspiracy rant in the thread about him appearing on Lex Fridman's podcast, when nobody was even discussing politics.
Your second paragraph is easily disproven. I didn't bring up Fauci, someone else did to derail the discussion about my conversation with Lex:
That derailing comment is flagged and now dead.
I've flagged your comment here, it is either dishonest or else just sloppily malicious in the wishful thinking mode with which you led in the first sentence.
I mean - Google built their business on searching the internet, why can't there be a business that starts by searching Google?
Having a semi-popular browser where they can set the default search engine would normally help, but if it's not free, I don't see why anyone would pay when, again, DDG does the same thing for free.
Let alone the rumors of Apple wanting to make its own search engine...
Isn't this what DuckDuckGo does but with Bing?
What I understand from your reply is that they don’t?
So if I search on Bing for a specific keyword, I will get the same results from DDG.
What about misspelled words? I have used DDG before.. for about two weeks. They offer poor suggestions for my misspelling.
What I’m suggesting is using Google results even after misspellings. What are the laws on scraping Google for suggestions/misspellings?
I'll stick to Firefox + DDG, thanks.
Otherwise if you are worried about engine monoculture, please see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26337402.
If neither of these is the issue, what is?
Thinking on it I had an amusing thought: I wonder if there will ever be a google premium :) All tracking, no ads.
This is exactly how it works in Chile, you pretty much check the numbers and make sure they match with your figures and done. For free.
I have one request within brave:
I want "Use Profiles" a switchable profile that states what I am using Brave for - and session states.
So let me explain:
1. I am using brave to do personal browsing at home and thus my 30 open tabs are related to my personal browsing etc.
A cool way of implementing this would be instead of CTRL+SHIFT+N would be CTRL+SHIFT+N[1-9] to shift to VIEW and would take me to that tab-stack... and there would be a page that would allow me to manage each tab-stack around [TOPIC] - Meta Book marks...
2. Educational tabs (bookmarks) associated with learning something - so I want tab grouping/session grouping around the resources I read for learning a topic
3. Work topics - so a group of resources related to work.
4. To sum up the above, basically VIEWS that I can dictate what bookmarks, sites, resources, etc relate to which view.
Kind of like multiple desktops - I want sep viewing environs that allow me to group, classify and segment knowledge tunnels... and overlap them as desired.
Google results are currently awful, full of blogspam and Pinterest-mirrored images. I don't remember when this changed.
Basically you could have a search engine that only replies with information from whom are also of the same interest as you - or people you congenially follow etc...
So you could say " show me everything about X" and the results are only from those who are actually connected to X in some way - based on the interest subscription graph as opposed to a keyword graph...
I may be a moron on this subject - but I do recog that there is room for improvement...
I added the following to a previous comment:
*"A cool way of implementing this would be instead of CTRL+SHIFT+N would be CTRL+SHIFT+N[1-9] to shift to VIEW and would take me to that tab-stack... and there would be a page that would allow me to manage each tab-stack around [TOPIC] - Meta Book marks..."*
(site:stackoverflow.com OR site:superuser.com OR site:serverfault.com OR site:stackexchange.com OR site:twitter.com OR site:flickr.com OR site:reddit.com)
And I don't want only those big sites. I'd also like to see authored blogs, traditional forums, national newspapers, various wikis, etc.
Searching for "cucumber" means something very different to me and my dad for instance. Without profiling both of us get worse results.
I have a fantasy where a lone basement nerd storms DDG HQ and teaches them about quotes at gunpoint.
More than a privacy focus search engine I want a equally good search engine as Google. Google has some defects but it's by far better than the competition.
What could possibly go wrong?
"We'll see" said the zen master.