Brave Browser: What Is Brave Doing To Protect Privacy?! New Privacy Feature Coming Soon!
security
Brave Browser: What Is Brave Doing To Protect Privacy?! New Privacy Feature Coming Soon!

By tomoyan | tomoyan | 23 Feb 2020


Brave browser has a built in "shield" feature that blocks trackers and ads that grab your private data.

The "shield" also removes garbage cookies that are not form the sites that you visit to protect your privacy and keep you safe, also make it harder for malicious sites to track you from site to site.

How "Brave Shield" Work

Brave blocks trackers and 3rd party ads at the network level and hide them.

So when you visit a website like this 👇 you won't see the google ads on Brave (Left: Chrome Right: Brave)

side by side

Brave protects web privacy and blocks privacy harming advertising on the network layer like this 👇

brave console

I kind of knew that the ads were google ads so I searched google related network requests. There is only 1 request, Google Tag Manager, when the page is loaded.

Chrome, on the other hand, does whole bunch of other stuff when the same page is loaded 👇

chrome console

There are a lot of google related requests going on that you don't see in Brave's network.

WHY? 

Brave browser filters out unwanted, privacy harming network requests but Chrome doesn't.

Chrome is doing more work for trackers and advertisers and sends large amount data about you and your online activities which takes extra time, data, CPU + processing power and memory of your computer.

But Brave blocks all that requests at the network level so that it improves performance and efficiency, and it also protects privacy and prevents from getting tracked. This is just one thing Brave does for web privacy in the background.

That is all great! It works! Now what?

Not all trackers, 3rd party ads can be blocked at the network layer 🤷

Some cases, advertisements are served from unpredictable URLs, or advertisements are served mixed with actual user serving contents which means that if a mixed content (user + ads) request is blocked, not only you won't see the advertisements, but also it will harm and degrade the website you are visiting and that is not good :(

Brave came up with a unique approach to solve this problem 🙌

And they are already testing the solution with their Nightly release.

They are going to use combinations of filter rules and network layer blocks and how they are used is decided at runtime. (and they have a rule if decision making takes too long 🙂)

High level overview of new approach:

1. For each cosmetic rule that applies to a page, periodically check to see if the rule matches any elements on the page. If no elements match, check again later.
2. If the cosmetic rule would hide first-party images or resources, do not apply the rule.
3. If the cosmetic rule would hide any elements that include no images or resources (e.g. a text-only ad), do not apply the rule.
4. Otherwise, apply the cosmetic rule and block the third-party ads.

You can help test this new solution using Brave Nightly, and if everything goes well, this feature will be included in Brave's stable release soon.

 

cover image

Resources

 

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tomoyan

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tomoyan

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