At a time when the great Silicon Valley companies have rushed to monopolize this new data economy with the enthusiasm of Victorian gold miners, it’s noteworthy to see a new entrant propose a reimagining of the system itself. This new technology company, aptly named Brave, promotes a browser that not only promises privacy and data security, it’s built around privacy and data security. The Brave browser blocks ads, cookies, and trackers by default. Brave prioritizes secure connections (think HTTPS instead of HTTP) and promises to block all phishing and malware.
Brave pointedly says “we’re not in the personal data business.”
For the curious, Brave also offers a feature that lets you view the tracking devices that each website tries to attach to you, in real time. After only a cursory scroll, I noticed that Brave blocked 23 different cross-site trackers within 10 seconds, some from Google and YouTube but others from indecipherable locations in the deep web. Brave claims that blocking all these tracking scripts means that its browser loads faster than alternatives and saves users money — as smartphones no longer have to chew through data by processing “invisible” tracking scripts.