Mozilla's former CEO, Brendan Eich, has launched a new Browser called Brave. It is currently at version 0.7 and is available for early adopters and testers, meaning anyone who can navigate around GitHub, install Node.js and copy a few commands can give it a go.
Brave is not just another browser - it may, in fact, have the best solution to the question of online advertising. As things stand, users have a few choices regarding online ads. They can either let the ads track their browsing habits, where they lose their privacy but allow content creators to receive the ad revenue, or they can block ads and deprive the content creators of the ad revenue. The latter option sometimes leads to sites shutting down if they can't find other means to cover costs.
We've also seen some 'grey-area' solutions - such as the EFF's Privacy Badger - which will blocks ads that it detects tracking you around the web, but will allow those which respects user's privacy. The only issue with this is that many ads still get blocked and content creators can miss out on a sizeable amount of money.
By launching Brave, Eich is introducing a new browser-based solution where user's privacy is protected, good advertisers get their content shown, and content creators still get revenue. The breakdown of ad revenues is as follows: publishers get 55%, 15% goes to Brave, 15% will go to the partner who supplies the ads and 10-15% goes directly to the user. User's revenue can be used to pay micro-payments to publishers they like, and in return ads are blocked on that site.
One aspect of Brave that users may have an issue with is the way they decide to show advertisements. Brave displays ads based on the user's browsing history, and using the history it will make 'tags' to then pick relevant ads to show. Users can delete tags they don't want ads to be chosen from. Brave will not share browsing history with advertisers, and the browser maker also says user data will be kept out of its cloud Brave Vault by default.
Brave 0.7 is available on Github, but installing it will require getting your hands dirty. Even after you put in the effort to make it run, it is still very rough around the edges, so it's probably better to wait until more work has been done. Brave will be available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android.