Two leaders in the data privacy movement join forces to give
people – not surveillance capitalists – control over their own data
SAN FRANCISCO – July 27, 2020 – Brave Software, makers of the privacy-preserving Brave browser, and Guardian, makers of Guardian Firewall + VPN for iOS, today are announcing the launch of the Brave Firewall + VPN, powered by Guardian. With this partnership, the companies are integrating their technologies to enable the fastest, safest, most private Web browsing experience. Brave now offers Brave Firewall + VPN, available for download from the App Store. This partnership allows people to take back control of their own data, browse the Web, and use their apps more safely and securely.
The Firewall + VPN is built into the Brave iPhone and iPad browser app, which combines privacy with a blockchain-based digital advertising platform to give users a safer, faster (3-6x), more private browsing experience, while funding the Web through a new attention-based platform of privacy-preserving advertisements and rewards. Once users subscribe, there is a setting to enable the firewall in the app. With this launch, we are offering users a firewall and VPN that work system-wide, not only in Brave for iOS but also in any other app they use on their iPhone and iPad, protecting users from data, location, and mail beacon tracking. This empowers users to take action at the network level over unwanted surveillance.
Unlike many browsers that offer VPNs which only mask a user’s IP address, Brave Firewall + VPN offers that as well as enhanced security and privacy by encrypting and protecting anything users do while connected to the Internet, and also prevents unauthorized tracking, blocks ads, and encrypts all traffic from the device. Brave Firewall + VPN sends a user’s iPhone and iPad traffic through an encrypted VPN to Guardian’s servers, allowing them to instantly spot which apps are secretly broadcasting tracking data, and block the offending activity while still ensuring app functionality works as intended. The unique Brave Firewall + VPN authentication system is designed specifically to not require use or retention of any user information; instead, a pseudonymous digital receipt from the App Store is used to enable VPN access to users, and randomized, rotatable, EAP identifiers are used to connect to VPN servers, thereby allowing server access to paying subscribers in a manner that does not require Brave or Guardian to be aware of a user’s identity.
When it comes to online privacy, users are being abused by surveillance capitalists and data miners with arsenals of trackers, invasive ads, and device fingerprinting. In particular, ad tech intermediaries track everywhere we go and everything we do. Guardian and Brave are emerging leaders in a new privacy movement that is exposing the extent of surveillance capitalism and the massive, shadowy data trading market it feeds. Both companies are working to give users the means to control their own data within this environment and shield them from companies that have no right to it.
“Brave is on a mission to upgrade the Internet from surveillance-by-default to privacy-by-default. With over 15 million monthly active users, our growth indicates that people are tired of being tracked, tagged, and monitored every second of every day. Brave Firewall + VPN, powered by Guardian is a big part of our mission to improve Web browsing and give power back to users over the use of their own data,” said Brendan Eich, CEO and co-founder of Brave Software. “We evaluated over a dozen VPNs and chose Guardian because of the shared focus on user privacy of our two companies and the technical capabilities of Guardian. The Firewall + VPN is a crucial part of the Web experience that our users have wanted, and we’re thrilled to bring this capability to Brave.”
“Brave and Guardian are like-minded companies, passionate about the right to protect privacy in an online world of uncontrolled surveillance, and we’re very pleased to join forces to put more power into users’ hands,” said Will Strafach, Guardian’s Chief Executive Officer. “Brave’s concept of privacy-by-default is key to an open Web that works for everyone – users, advertisers, and publishers – and not just for a few mega companies. By integrating Guardian’s technology with Brave’s browser, we offer a powerful solution for a much-improved Web experience that’s three to six times faster than conventional browsers, and much safer and more private.”
“I’ve been watching the growth of Brave and Guardian for some time and seen first-hand the commitment the teams have demonstrated both to user privacy, and in getting the hard technical details right,” said Kenn White, a security researcher and encryption engineer. “I think this partnership is a great milestone in usable security for the Web. It’s exactly the sort of innovation we need to take a dent out of online tracking and unbounded data mining.”
The Firewall + VPN is a premium feature which delivers more functionality than standard or free VPNs, and it is available for purchase. It is available for $9.99 USD per month or $99.99 USD per year, and users can purchase this via In-App Purchase from the Brave iPhone/iPad app. The firewall can be used on up to 5 devices a user may have. Brave users on iOS can now take advantage of this new feature, with availability on other Brave platforms to come later this year.
About Brave Software
Guardian is a research company founded on the belief that personal privacy and transparency into network-connected devices are fundamental consumer rights. Guardian is building the world’s most powerful data privacy tools to change the paradigm of your technology owning you, to you owning your technology. Guardian Firewall + VPN blocks attempts by apps on iPhones to track the location of, and take data from, unsuspecting users. Well known for its ability to reverse engineer almost any app and device, Guardian’s mission is to expose what’s happening under the hood, to protect people from the dangers lurking – often unknowingly – in the digitized world. For more information, go to https://guardianapp.com.