Brave browser caught secretly redirecting users

Brave, brave, brave!

:rage: :rage: :rage:

What are your thoughts on their rebuttal?

“Not evil; it’s an affiliate link presented as a suggestion. Adding a screenshot here. This presents a privacy-respecting revenue stream for Brave. If users join Binance with our affiliate ID, we receive support. No privacy or data impacted at all. That said, we’re reverting.”

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Honestly that ?ref=12345 is the first thing that caught my attention, it looks a bit strange. On a fresh install (auto suggestions are indeed disabled by default) my options are more limited and different. Take special note on that there is no option to visit the site directly, I definitely don’t like that.

I also find it inconsistent that Brendan Eich insisted this was a mistake (even though is not an isolated case) that must be fixed, but the tweet doesn’t talk about mistakes nor fixes at all (reverting is not the same as fixing).

Overall, I think it’s one of those things that deteriorate user trust and hurt the company image. If they are making profit from it why not disclose it in the first place? Making decisions on behalf of the user, or pushing the user in a certain direction, doesn’t sound like privacy-respecting revenue and it didn’t turn out well for Mozilla in the past.

Interesting also that they filed complaints against Google for GDPR violations… I’m not sure if this falls under GDPR but it would make a difference, from a company who cares about privacy to a company that simply jumped on the wagon for self-promotion.

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I think he used ?ref=12345 during testing.

I think the mistake is having it on by default. All they had to do was say that they are implementing referral links and then keep it off by default. At least it is fixed with the latest update. Very messy look though.