Brave goes after Google with privacy-first search engine
Brave has built a reputation as a privacy-first browser, and the company is now taking on Google’s web dominance with a new search engine project called Brave Search.
Brave on Wednesday announced plans to launch a new search engine that will keep user information private and away from the prying eyes of big tech. The new search engine will use technology developed by Tailcat, which Brave just acquired.
“The Tailcat search engine is built on top of a completely independent index, capable of delivering the quality people expect, but without compromising their privacy,” Brave said in a blog post. “Tailcat does not collect IP addresses or use personally identifiable information to improve search results.”
Brave said its browser has grown in popularity over the last year, from 11 million monthly active users to over 25 million — and it expects to see even more growth in 2021. Expanding to search, an area long dominated by Google, was a necessary step in Brave’s evolution, the company said.
Brave Search promises not to track or profile users, and will always serve the user first. It will rely on anonymized contributions from the community to improve and refine the experience, and won’t use “secret methods or algorithms to bias results.” Brave said it plans to provide options for ad-free paid search and ad-supported search.
“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,” said Dr. Josep M. Pujol, head of the Tailcat project.
The news comes after Brave was at the center of a controversy that saw the browser adding affiliate links to cryptocurrency URLs, which the company has addressed If you’re interested in trying Brave Search, you can join the waitlist.