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Welcome to the Brave blog. You’ve reached the front page for news on ad blocking, features, performance, privacy and Basic Attention Token related announcements.

Brave at Mobile World Congress #MWC19

Last week, Brave attended Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and unveiled its experiential booth to explain how it’s reinventing online advertising with its global ad platform built on privacy. Check out Brendan Eich’s showfloor interview with Mobile World Live for...

AMA with Ben Livshits

Welcome to the thirteenth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is an eight-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an...

Memory Savings in Brave: 33% to 66% memory reduction over Chrome

This research was conducted by Dr. Andrius Aucinas, performance researcher at Brave, and Dr. Ben Livshits, Brave’s Chief Scientist. We are continuing our series of posts evaluating Brave browser's performance. This time we look at one aspect that often frustrates web...

Blockchain MarTech Industry Grows by 1,218% in 18 months

Never Stop Marketing Research and Brave Software Collaborate to Help Enterprise Marketers Harness Blockchain Potential Rapidly New York and San Francisco, February 13, 2019 ---- Never Stop Marketing Research, the leading research firm on the intersection of blockchain...

Script Blocking Exceptions Update

We have received many questions about script blocking exceptions being reported by several news outlets and blogs. This conversation is about script loading, not tracking. Loading a script from an edge-cache does not track a user without third-party cookies or...

Earn Basic Attention Token, or BAT, With Coinbase Earn

In an effort to make BAT easier to use and easier to understand, Brave Software is working with Coinbase Earn, a product that allows users to earn utility tokens by viewing and completing educational tasks. $5 million, denominated in BAT, is being designated for this...

AMA with Joel Reis and Sergey Zhukovsky

Welcome to the twelfth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is a seven-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity...

Cheddar Partnership

CHEDDAR AND BRAVE PARTNER TO OFFERPREMIUM CHEDDAR CONTENT TO BRAVE BROWSER USERS NEW YORK, NY and SAN FRANCISCO, CA – January 29th, 2019 –  Cheddar, the leading post-cable news, media, and entertainment company, and Brave Software, an innovative privacy browser...

Brave alerts the FTC about two major problems in digital media & services markets

Big tech companies “cross-use” user data from one part of their business to prop up others. This hurts innovation & choice. The FTC must investigate. Plus, the GDPR is emerging as a defacto international standard. Whether this helps or harms United States firms will be determined by whether the United States enacts and actively enforces robust federal privacy laws.

AMA with Tom Lowenthal

Welcome to the eleventh post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is a seven-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity...

Brave Previews Opt-in Ads in Desktop Browser Developer Channel

New online advertising model upends current systemwith 70% revenue share to users and privacy by designToday we’re previewing our new digital advertising model in Brave’s Developer channel. Developers and testers using the latest desktop browser build for macOS and...

Brave Rewards Update

Brave Rewards is our anonymous donation system integrated directly into the Brave desktop browser. It is accessible to users from the URL bar via the BAT (Basic Attention Token) logo, and though off by default, can be easily switched on with the slider. Publishers and...

Brave Software Joins AdLedger

Non-Profit Blockchain Consortium Unites Industry-LeadingTechnology Companies To Reform The Future Of Digital Advertising New York, NY -- December 19, 2018 -- AdLedger, the non-profit research and development consortium building and implementing the blockchain...

AMA with Ryan Watson and Kamil Jozwiak

Welcome to the tenth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is a seven-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity to...

AMA with Alex Wykoff

Welcome to the ninth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is a seven-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity to...

AMA with Luke Mulks

Welcome to the eighth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is a seven-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity to...

French regulator shows deep flaws in IAB’s consent framework and RTB

French regulator’s decision against Vectaury confirms that IAB “Transparency & Consent Framework” does not obtain valid consent, and illustrates how even tiny adtech companies can unlawfully gather millions of people’s personal data from the online advertising “real time bidding system” (RTB). 

Evaluating the End-User Experience of Private Browsing Mode

Nowadays, all major web browsers have a private browsing mode. However, the mode’s benefits and limitations are not particularly understood. Through the use of survey studies, prior work has found that most users are either unaware of private browsing or do not use it. Further, those who do use private browsing generally have misconceptions about what protection it provides.

However, prior work has not investigated why users misunderstand the benefits and limitations of private browsing. In this work, we do so by designing and conducting a two-part user study with 20 demographically-diverse participants: (1) a qualitative, interview-based study to explore users’ mental models of private browsing and its security goals; (2) a participatory design study to investigate whether existing browser disclosures, the in-browser explanations of private browsing mode, communicate the security goals of private browsing to users. We asked our participants to critique the browser disclosures of three web browsers: Brave, Firefox, and Google Chrome, and then design new ones.

We find that most participants had incorrect mental models of private browsing, influencing their understanding and usage of private browsing mode. Further, we find that existing browser disclosures are not only vague, but also misleading. None of the three studied browser disclosures communicates or explains the primary security goal of private browsing. Drawing from the results of our user study, we distill a set of design recommendations that we encourage browser designers to implement and test, in order to design more effective browser disclosures.

SpeedReader: Fast and Private Reader Mode for the Web

This post is an abbreviated version of this report, based on research conducted at Brave by Andrius Aucinas (Performance Researcher), Peter Snyder (Privacy Researcher), and Dr. Ben Livshits (Chief Scientist), as well as by Mohammad Ghasemisharif (Ph.D student in...

AMA with Brian Brown

Welcome to the seventh post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is a seven-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity...

SpeedReader: Reader Mode Made Fast and Private

Most popular web browsers include “reader modes” that improve the user experience by removing un-useful page elements. Reader modes reformat the page to hide elements that are not related to the page’s main content. Such page elements include site navigation, advertising related videos and images, and most JavaScript. The intended end result is that users can enjoy the content they are interested in, without distraction.

In this work, we consider whether the “reader mode” can be widened to also provide performance and privacy improvements. Instead of its use as a post-render feature to clean up the clutter on a page we propose SpeedReader as an alternative multistep pipeline that is part of the rendering pipeline. Once the tool decides during the initial phase of a page load that a page is suitable for reader mode use, it directly applies document tree translation before the page is rendered.

Based on our measurements, we believe that SpeedReader can be continuously enabled in order to drastically improve end-user experience, especially on slower mobile connections. Combined with our approach to predicting which pages should be rendered in reader mode with 91% accuracy, it achieves drastic speedups and bandwidth reductions of up to 27x and 84x respectively on average. We further find that our novel “reader mode” approach brings with it significant privacy improvements to users. Our approach effectively removes all commonly recognized trackers, issuing 115 fewer requests to third parties, and interacts with 64 fewer trackers on average, on transformed pages.

AMA with Sampson

Welcome to the sixth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is a seven-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity to...

Who Filters the Filters: Understanding the Growth, Usefulness and Efficiency of Crowdsourced Ad Blocking

Ad and tracking blocking extensions are among the most popular browser extensions. These extensions typically rely on filter lists to decide whether a URL is associated with tracking or advertising. Millions of web users rely on these lists to protect their privacy and improve their browsing experience. Despite their importance, the growth and health of these filter lists is poorly understood. These lists are maintained by a small number of contributors, who use a variety of undocumented heuristics to determine what rules should be included. These lists quickly accumulate rules over time, and rules are rarely removed. As a result, users’ browsing experiences are degraded as the number of stale, dead or otherwise not useful rules increasingly dwarfs the number of useful rules, with no attenuating benefit. This paper improves the understanding of crowdsourced filter lists by studying EasyList, the most popular filter list. We find that, over its 9 year history, EasyList has grown from several hundred rules, to well over 60,000. We then apply EasyList to a sample of 10,000 websites, and find that 90.16% of the resource blocking rules in EasyList provide no benefit to users, in common browsing scenarios. Based on these results, we provide a taxonomy of the ways advertisers evade EasyList rules. Finally, we propose optimizations for popular ad-blocking tools that provide over 99% of the coverage of existing tools, but 62.5% faster.

AMA with Yan Zhu

Welcome to the fifth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is a six-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity to...

New Brave Browser Release Available for General Download on Brave.com

Redesigned Chromium-based desktop version replaces previous Muon-based browser and delivers 22% faster load time Starting today, users who download a new version of the Brave desktop browser from the Brave website will be presented with Brave’s latest browser release,...

The New Brave is 22% Faster

Newly Redesigned Chromium-Based Brave Browser Has 22% Faster Load Time than Brave Muon Version, on Average This research was conducted by Andrius Aucinas, performance researcher at Brave, and Dr. Ben Livshits, Brave’s Chief Scientist. Back in March we announced the...

AMA with David Temkin

Welcome to the fourth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs. The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is a six-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity to...

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