Brave has made a name for itself as one of the best web browsers for an out-of-the-box privacy focus, aggressively blocking trackers and ads. The browser uses Chromium as its rendering engine, ensuring its high performance and compatibility. Brave also includes its own cryptocurrency, which can be used as a way of rewarding content makers, in an effort to reinvent how paid web content works.
The company’s latest effort is its most ambitious yet, with plans to take on Google with a more privacy-focused alternative — Brave Search.
Billed as “search without a trace,” Brave Search will respect privacy, not harvesting user data, tracking or profiling users, or being beholden to advertisers. The search engine will offer both ad-free paid search and ad-supported free search options.
The most critical basis of a search engine is its index of the web. To make Brave Search a reality, the company acquired Tailcat, an open search engine developed by the same team responsible for German search engine Cliqz, a Hubert Burda Media holding. Tailcat will form the basis of the new Brave Search.
“Brave has grown significantly over the past year, from 11 million monthly active users to over 25 million. We expect to see even greater demand for Brave in 2021 as more and more users demand real privacy solutions to escape Big Tech’s invasive practices,” said Brendan Eich, CEO and co-founder of Brave Software. “Brave’s mission is to put the user first, and integrating privacy-preserving search into our platform is a necessary step to ensure that user privacy is not plundered to fuel the surveillance economy.”
“We are very happy that our technology is being used at Brave and that, as a result, a genuine, privacy-friendly alternative to Google is being created in the core web functions of browsing and searching,” added Paul-Bernhard Kallen, CEO of Hubert Burda Media. “As a Brave stakeholder we will continue to be involved in this exciting project.”
“The only way to counter Big Tech with its bad habit of collecting personal data is to develop a robust, independent, and privacy-preserving search engine that delivers the quality users have come to expect. People should not be forced to choose between privacy and quality,” said Dr. Josep M. Pujol, head of the Tailcat project. “The team is excited to be working on the only real private search/browser alternative to Big Tech available on the market.”
With Google Chrome and Google Search boasting a 70% and 92% share of their respective markets, Brave definitely has an uphill battle ahead of it. Nonetheless, the company has gained significant momentum over the last couple of years. In addition, Google’s antitrust troubles have opened the door to what may be the best opportunity to challenge the once unassailable market leader.
In the meantime, interested users can sign up to be put on a waiting list for early access to Brave Search.