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Brave, an internet browser best known for its emphasis on privacy, is currently under fire for allegedly selling copyrighted data.
According to accusations, the web browser is selling the material to companies for AI training without user permission.
An article by Alex Ivanovs of Stack Diary started debates on various forums over how Brave handles copyrighted data.
Per Ivanovs, the web browser is collecting and selling data without permission to companies that train artificial intelligence models.
Although Brave boasts about its strong privacy protections, the alleged sale of copyrighted material has raised some questions about its data practices.
Ivanovs argues that the browser lets third parties access copyrighted content through the Brave Search API. Through its AI product, it provides access to “extra alternate snippets,” which are longer than Google’s featured snippets and range from 150 to 260 words in length.
According to Ivanovs, this is useful enough for AI training due to how easy it is to fine-tune the output. He also said that other Brave Search API features, such as FAQ and Discussions, can help extract specific information.
In Brave’s response, the Chief of Search, Josep M. Pujol said that the engine provides rights to the output of the API request. Ivanovs argues that “content” and “output of the API request” are the same thing.
The situation prompts important questions regarding Brave’s stance on private data and making money using somebody else’s content.
More on Brave browser
Brave emerged as a good alternative to Chrome and Firefox, attracting over 57 million monthly active users. It’s best known for its high speeds and features such as Brave Rewards and Brave Wallet.
In May 2023, it introduced the Brave Search API. The company referred to it as the backbone of search that helps companies and developers build the next generation of apps.
In an update to his original article, Ivanovs argues that since this feature is new, maybe it wasn’t thought through completely. However, he doesn’t “see a world in which this cannot be abused.”
Due to its focus on privacy, Brave has introduced various features that help users stay safe online.
One such example is Brave Shields, which blocks trackers and third-party apps.
The browser also offers its Brave Firewall + VPN feature that helps you encrypt and protect anything you do online. This functionality is available across all devices and uses Guardian VPN. And if you want to, you can use a Brave VPN extension.
Although the browser touts its strong privacy protections, Ivanovs has said that there are some serious ethical considerations in its approach.
While Brave will remain to be a popular choice for many, there’s no doubt the tech industry will keep a close eye on the situation.