If you have been witnessing the growth of different browsers and how do they fare against one another, you would not have missed the growth of Brave Browser as well. Brave Browser has been one of the best-known options for securing and safeguarding your privacy. However, the same browser has now come under scrutiny for violating the user confidence and having redirected the users to affiliate links on the cryptocurrency companies.
It may be noticed that Brave Browser is a Chromium based browser (just as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are) and was designed with the sole purpose of protecting the online privacy of its users and offer a crypto-friendly user experience. However, all hell broke loose on June 7.
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What was the Brave browser Controversy?
It all began with a Twitter user who made a shocking declaration on June 7. The user Yannick Eckl found out that whenever the users on Brave browser searched for Binance, they were automatically redirected to the affiliate version of the URL, thereby ensuring that the Browser benefitted from these searchers and earned for the referral links.
So when you are using the @brave browser and type in “binance[.]us” you end up getting redirected to “binance[.]us/en?ref=35089877” – I see what you did there mates ?
— Cryptonator1337 (@cryptonator1337) June 6, 2020
This further led to other investigations and digging into the Github pages of Brave Browser. The investigation by DimitarDinev7 revealed further that the brave browser was also involved in privacy violations of a sort by redirecting the users to the affiliate URLs of other crypto websites such as Ledger, Trezor and Coinbase.
Given the fact that Internet privacy has become one of the most important aspects, and is seen as a breach of user confidence and trust. This is more so given the fact that users come to brave browser thinking it to be more private and a great option among others.
It may be worthwhile to remember here that the search engine giant Google was recently pulled up for a privacy violation; users have been moving towards more safer options. Brave Browser for one was one of the best options from that perspective so far. However, with the controversy involving Brave browser now unearthed, that too seems to be a far fetched dream for the users.
What makes it a severe privacy violation is the fact that they have over 15 million active users, but none of the users were asked for consent before this violation occurred.
Brave browser user Apologises for the Error
Soon after the violation was unearthed and the Brave Browser controversy has been detailed, Brave Browser Brendan Eich apologised through a Twitter post. He accepted that the company has made a mistake and is looking ahead to correct it. He claimed that “Brave default autocompletes verbatim ‘http://binance.us’ in address bar to add an affiliate code. We are a Binance affiliate, we refer users via the opt-in trading widget on the new tab page, but autocomplete should not add any code.”
4/ This includes bringing new users to Binance & other exchanges via opt-in trading widgets/other UX that preserves privacy prior to opt-in. It includes search revenue deals, as all major browsers do. When we do this well, it’s a win for all parties. Our users want Brave to live.
— BrendanEich (@BrendanEich) June 6, 2020
However, the damage is done already, and Brave Browser has found its credibility tarnished. It needs to be seen how it will work towards improving its credibility once again. The Brave Browser controversy has indeed made the internet community wary of serious concerns that await the users in the day to day browsing requirements you may have.