Brave Browser will no longer add affiliate links to some cryptocurrency trading sites
There is no dearth of browser choices for both smartphones and on desktop, and there are a bunch of good options that can suit a variety of needs. Brave Browser counts itself as one of these options, riding on its privacy-centric approach to web browsing. Brave Browser was launched as v1 in December 2019 as an open-source browser, offering features such as a free built-in ad blocker, HTTPS Everywhere, script blocking, third-party cookie blocking, blocking invasive third-party ads, trackers, and auto-play videos. Unfortunately, it appears that Brave Browser was auto-filling its referral onto URLs of cryptocurrency sites, which it now has promised to stop after public outrage.
Twitter user @cryptonator1337 found that Brave Browser kept inserting a referral code to the end of the web address of Binance, a cryptocurrency trading website.
— Cryptonator1337 (@cryptonator1337) June 6, 2020
As David Gerard reports, this referral code could allow Brave Software to earn up to 20% from trading fees for every account created through the unique link. Further, the functionality of auto-filling a referral code appears to have been added on March 25, and the feature went on to include sites like Binance, Coinbase, Ledger, and Trezor. To further complicate the issue, some of these websites allow the referrer to view some amount of data about the customers who do sign up with the code.
Understandably, there was outrage on this move, and Brave Software’s CEO and co-founder Mr. Brendan Eich has responded by mentioning that there exists a setting to disable the autocomplete defaults that add the affiliate codes, and this setting is present at brave://settings.
FWIW there’s a setting to disable the autocomplete defaults that add affiliate codes, in brave://settings first page. Current plan is to flip default to off as shown here. You can disable ahead of our release schedule if you want to. Good to hear from supporters who’ll enable it. pic.twitter.com/ZgOpSsOLnX
— BrendanEich (@BrendanEich) June 6, 2020
Further, Brave Browser’s stable release will be updated to default to disabling the affiliate autocomplete.
Opinions on affiliate revenue can be divisive, as many construe them as a viable secondary source of income for creators. Nonetheless, an announcement was certainly warranted when undertaking such a change. Hopefully, the team at Brave Browser can keep this in mind.
Source: David Gerard