Private Browser ‘Brave’ Files Complaint Against Google For Illegal Data Sharing Practices

Brendan Eich, the co-founder of Brave, the world's first Blockchain browser developed by Brave Software Inc., has filed privacy complaints against Google and other digital advertising companies for illegal data sharing practices.


Brendan Eich, the co-founder of Brave, the world’s first Blockchain browser developed byBrave Software Inc., has filed privacy complaints against Google and other digital advertising companies for illegal data sharing practices.

Google not fully compliant with GDPR regulations

The Brave browser, which is known for blocking obtrusive and privacy-infringing advertisements by default, has filed its complaints with the aim of activating provisions in the recently-implemented European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Brave claims that Google’s policy of making use of real-time bidding to enable companies to acquire personalized ads gives them access to too much sensitive user data.

Some of the data collected by the companies include sensitive information like sexuality, ethnicity, and political views – the collection and dissemination of which the GDPR forbids.

The GDPR regulation was put in place to ensure that users have more control over their privacy and prevent companies from accessing their sensitive information. Brave accused Google and other digital ad companies of not fully abiding by those regulations.

Brave’s chief policy officer Johnny Ryan commented that at the moment, their behavioral advertising industry has come under systemic data breach and it is massive.

Ad-tech companies have failed to comply with the regulations for years despite being made aware of them multiple times.

Brave’s complaint alleged user data is transferred to hundreds of companies anytime a user visits a website and enters personal data. This takes place without the user’s knowledge and thus occurs in breach of regulations.

If the filed complaints are successful, they could shake the entire data-driven online advertising model, a sector that is expected to hit $273 billion by the end of the year.

Google is liable to face hefty fines as GDPR regulations stipulate any company that violates the rules would face a fine of 4 percent of its global revenue. Last year, Alphabet Inc. Google’s parent company saw nearly $111 billion in revenue.

Google, however, denied all allegations, stating that it takes privacy seriously, and builds security into all their products from the onset.

The firm added that it is fully committed to complying with the GDPR as they provide their users with meaningful data transparency and controls across all the services they provide in the continent including personalized ads.

Brave no longer uses Google in Germany and France

A recent report by CNET revealed that Brave browser has removed Google as the default search engine for users in France and Germany. Google has been replaced with Qwant, a privacy-focused search engine.

Brave believes that Qwant’s commitment to not tracking users or saving search history is something other search engines can emulate.

Ryan believes that it is time search engine companies move on to what he calls clean tech as their practice of selling user data will soon be a thing of the past.

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