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This article was published on January 20, 2016

Mozilla cofounder’s new ‘Brave’ browser strips out ads that use your browsing history

Mozilla cofounder’s new ‘Brave’ browser strips out ads that use your browsing history
Ben Woods
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Ben Woods

Europe Editor

Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

As the debate rages on about whether adblocking is good for users and networks but harmful for advertisers and publishersBrave has released the first version of its adblocking browser for desktop and mobile.

Brave was founded by Brendan Eich, cofounder of Mozilla, and focuses on removing what it sees as the most invasive of ads.  It’s not just for the sake of your personal privacy though – it’s to speed up your browsing too.

As a result, Brave strips out programmatic ads that use your browsing history for targeting and instead inserting what it sees as far more palatable ads.

So, you’re not getting no ads whatsoever, you’re getting ones that should help both visitors and publishers, at least in theory.

“Brave browsers block everything: initial signalling/analytics scripts that start the programmatic advertising “dirty pipe”, impression-tracking pixels, and ad-click confirmation signals,” Eich says.

“By default Brave will insert ads only in a few standard-sized spaces. We find those spaces via a cloud robot (so users don’t have to suffer, even a few canaries per screen size-profile, with ad delays and battery draining). We will target ads based on browser-side intent signals phrased in a standard vocabulary, and without a persistent user id or highly re-identifiable cookie.”

Right now it’s early days, so you’ll want to be familiar with downloading and installing repositories from Github if you want to check it out ahead of its ‘official’ beta release.

According to VentureBeat, it’s missing what some would consider essential browser features like preferences, bookmark manager, history and a downloads folder but they’ll all apparently arrive within a few weeks.

If a bare-bones build doesn’t put you off and you have some dev chops, head on over to GitHub to download it for desktop, iOS or Android.

If you’d rather wait for a more stable version, you can sign up on Brave’s site to be notified when the beta is ready.

Brave [GitHub via VentureBeat]

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