What does Privacy Guides think about criticism of Brave Browser?

Privacy Guides recommends Brave, but I recall seeing people recommend against it, like here, for example.

https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/191yu33/comment/kgyyri1/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web3x&utm_name=web3xcss&utm_term=1&utm_content=share_button

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With regards to the shady crypto-adjacent shit, yeah it’s bad and I personally would never recommend it. Plus the CEO of Brave is a shithead outside of just cryptocurrency.

With regards to the “use not-Chromium”, let’s be real, the only reason google doesn’t have full dominance of the web is because of apple locking out non-webkit browsers from iOS/iPadOS – Gecko and Firefox have barely any marketshare these days. I do still use firefox to avoid chromium where reasonable, but I have no illusions about how impactful that truly is, versus owning multiple apple products and using Safari.

And finally, regarding the Tor, not “TOR”, issues that Brave has. Yeah, don’t use Tor via anything other than the Tor browser if you actually want (as close as possible to) anonymity, pretty sure that’s specifically noted in the browsers section here on PG.

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Every product could be criticized. If you read about Brave you will see most criticism is about crypto, but using it is optional lol, and CEO guy, which has nothing to do with the browser itself.

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I’m not sure how aligned my perspective is with PG’s official stance, but my personal feelings is that Brave as a browser *has a lot of value as a privacy browser for those who either (1) value privacy but aren’t super tech savvy/want something that mostly just works without having to think about it or understand it, OR (2) those who value privacy, but want to stay with a Chromium based browser.

So, I recommend Brave in that context, despite reservations about (1) Brave (the companies) moral compass, advertising+crypto based business model (which is unproven and not yet sustainable afaik), (2) vulnerability to things Google bakes in upstream, and (3) some of the things Brave’s CEO has done and said.

Basically, I think Brave as a tool in its current form is a valuable option in the privacy space, despite many misgivings and concerns about Brave as a company, and about Brave’s business model and ethics.

FWIW, (in case this comes across as an anti-Brave comment, which is not the intention) I’ve followed Brave Browser since its early days, and used it for most of that time (alongside Firefox which is my primary browser of choice), I am hopeful that Brave will succeed and improve, and that my reservations and concerns will become obsolete with time.

edit:

Every product could be criticized. If you read about Brave you will see most criticism is about crypto

While this is true (from an end user perspective/not concerned with the future), the problem is that Brave’s advertising network and crypto stuff is the core of Brave’s business model, the big bet Brave made is that enough people will opt-into this system to make Brave Browser sustainable and profitable. So, as an individual choice, disabling all that makes a lot of sense, but if you are thinking of the sustainability of the browser over the long term, not disabling the stuff we tell people they can and should disable is rather important. That seems to me like a fundamental vulnerability towards the sustainability of Brave. They are making a big bet on an unproven business model that a big chunk of the general public doesn’t like or finds distasteful.

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I usually recommend brave for family members that are not very tech savvy because it just works.

But personally I hated it because of all that crypto stuff and rewards.

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Same, this is the biggest value I get from Brave. It is a good easy recommendation for less tech savvy friends and family, and it feels very familiar to those who grew up with Chrome.

Brave isn’t perfect, but I do think Brave gets a lot of things right.

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I understand the recommendation, it’s a great browser and all the cryptocurrency crap can be disabled.

But I don’t trust them. Ever since they briefly replaced links rendered by the browser with their own affiliate links, I lost all trust in them. Sure, they reverted that quickly, but that action shows a user-hostile mentality, where they thought that somehow that was an acceptable thing to do. Yes, they backtracked, bit was it because they reflected and realised how horrible what they did was, or was it because of the backlash, and if they would have gotten away with it they would have doubled down in those kinds of actions?

How can I know that tomorrow they won’t come up with a new “brilliant” user-hostile idea to monetise that they find a way to get away with?

Trust is easy to loose, extremely hard to regain. For me, Brave is a clear example of it.

Who are you? Do you work for Brave or something? it’s a browser, people are allowed to have opinions on it even if you personally disagree with them.

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In corporate commercial software, these things happen occasionally. Some sub-team decides they’ll do something as a feature, get it into the product, and upon launch, it breaks or just doesn’t work. Social sphere gets all over it; the company does a mea culpa; internally the team or person who approved it gets slapped (or worse); a fix is done; and we move on.

If Brave did this every couple years or more frequently, they’d erode my trust. I’m ok with a slip and I hope they learned and put some controls in place. A second time, especially if it’s a bad response, will erode my trust.

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Can we stop pretending that the affiliate link scandal is so damn deep? The only difference between a normal link and an affiliate link is that an affiliate link would at least give something back to Brave because the majority of users use the Brave browser daily without ever supporting it or giving anything back.

Direct this criticism to corporations that are actually very user-hostile, such as Apple, Reddit, Meta, etc., not Brave, which improved browser privacy, security, and usability for millions of users without them having to do any configuration or install any extensions.

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They sure can be, but you haven’t demonstrated that anything in this thread is a stupid and/or false opinion, you just decided to glaze Brave hence me asking if you work for them :blush:

This is silly, so we can’t criticise Brave because they’ve done good things too? In that case, we can’t criticise Mozilla either because they also have done good things.

Really puzzling how Brave always manages to draw people who so ardently defend it, despite reasons that people might not like it.

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Just because Brave does a lot of good things for users’ privacy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t criticize Brave when there are good reasons for it. The problems with Brave are less significant compared to companies like Reddit or Meta, but they exist, and we have a right to discuss them.

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The Brave browser team originally intended to move ahead with forcing a Play Services dependency on the Android version and **only reverted it upon severe backlash. **

This is not the end of the world for people like me (since I use Calyx with microG enabled) but some users might desire to use Brave on a system without any Play Services or microG. They originally intended to not address the issue. That is wild for a company who entirely focus on privacy.

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The Brave browser team originally intended to move ahead with forcing a Play Services dependency on the Android version and **only reverted it upon severe backlash. **

Mozilla Firefox literally forces users to use google search, google safebrowsing and on mobile they have literally google trackers embedded in their apps Exodus Report. Hence, every company does shady things, there’s no one’s perfect!

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Firefox doesn’t force you to use either. Changing the default search engine is easy to do, and you can also disable Google safe browsing in about:config if you really want to.

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The default search engine can be easily searched and you didn’t read the link I poseted about how Firefox handles safebrowsing. This covers only Desktop Firefox but there is no reason they will not be doing this on Android too.

https://feeding.cloud.geek.nz/posts/how-safe-browsing-works-in-firefox/

Exodus Report

Exodus is highly inaccurate. It accounts for only embedded tracking code and not whether the app is tracking your activity within the app itself.

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Which browser do you think people should use on Android instead of Brave?
And second part, What do you think about Orbot?

Do you have a source for this? I don’t think the breakage was intentional, I believe it was just a side effect of them using Google Play libraries and not properly QA testing. I’m not trying to defend Brave here though, since imo they really shouldn’t include Play libraries at all, and I agree with a lot of the criticism brought up here.

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Vanadium, Cromite, Mulch. And if you aren’t as bothered by the lack of security and/or only do browsing without logging into stuff on mobile, Mull.

Android devices are very fingerprintable, anonymous browsing should be done using Tor on a desktop OS and ideally Whonix+Qubes, as is recommended here on PG.

Brave is a great browser. But brave is also a company, and they need :moneybag::moneybag::moneybag:. So what they do? They decided to make a VPN, Leo Premium, Brave Search Premium, and Crypto. Their crypto was their initial funding project, and rn it is still present. Maybe they actually accomplish their promises of a new way to funding creators? I really don’t know. I haven’t earned that much when using brave, but I don’t know if is just me or everyone.
Still, obviously as a company they can make weird movements… but it’s little probable that those would be abruptly, but with some news. They work much better than let’s say Firefox or Chrome for giving privacy on the user, so they are not so bad
I do not use Brave today that much tbh, but some time ago I used to
Nevertheless, there are really alternatives that achieves the same level of privacy but with easiness, without friction and without complications.

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