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Brendan Eich's Brave new world: a browser that adblocks & helps publishers

Brendan Eich announced yesterday a new browser called “Brave,” a browser that blocks outside online ads and ad tracking. In a post on the Brave browsers website Eich, Brave’s CEO and president, explains the model. Brave blocks ads and all other tracking techniques by default. Viewing ads should not be a decisions the website springs on the user, and when websites do so there's a conflict of interest as websites make money off the ads.

"I contend that the threat we face is ancient and, at bottom, human. Some call it advertising, others privacy. I view it as the Principal-Agent conflict of interest woven into the fabric of the Web."

But we're long past the pay-per-view era (even if that was successfully used here before the dawn of youtube), Eich explains. "The Web missed an opportunity back in the early days to define payments and all they entail as a standard."

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.

In short, Brave will block ads and tracking from the websites you visit, and then insert ads all its own. If enough people gravitate to this brave new browser, Brave will share its ad revenue with users and content publishers.

No user data will be stored or recorded. "Thus we are a browser-based ad-tech platform, with high precision and privacy." What a refreshing twist in the ongoing battle to get publishers paid. Devices now host their own ad networks, telco's attempt their own ad networks, platforms do ads, and now so do browsers.

Interested? Sign up for Brave now

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