Brave abandons Google for its own privacy-focused search engine

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Brave Browser replaced Google with its own privacy-focused, untracked Brave search as the default search engine for new users in five regions.

Brave is a Chromium-based open source browser that focuses on user privacy by automatically blocking ads and tracking scripts and removing privacy invasive features built into Chromium.

Historically, Brave used Google as the default search engine when searching from the address bar. However, Google is notorious for tracking user activities, behavior, and interests, which doesn’t make it a good choice for a privacy-focused browser.

Today, Brave announced that privacy-focused Brave Search has now become the default search engine for new users in the US, Canada and UK. Brave Search also replaces Qwant in France and DuckDuckGo in Germany.

Today’s Brave desktop browser update (version 1.31), as well as the Brave Android app (version 1.31) * and the Brave iOS app (version 1.32) automatically offer Brave Search by default for new users in these five countries, with versions located in non-English geographies, ”Brave announced.

“Brave users can easily choose another search option if they prefer by managing their search engine parameters.”

Courageous research
Courageous research

Brave Search was first launched on June 22, 2021 and uses its own independent search index and an impressive array of security features:

  1. Confidentiality: no tracking or profiling of users.
  2. User First: User comes first, not the advertising and data industries.
  3. Independence: Brave has its own search index to answer common queries privately without relying on other providers.
  4. Choice: Coming soon, options for ad-free paid search and ad-supported search.
  5. Transparency: No secret methods or algorithms to bias results, and soon, open, community-curated ranking models to ensure diversity and prevent algorithmic bias and outright censorship.
  6. Transparency: Best-in-class integration between browser and search without compromising privacy, from personalization to instant results for different user types.
  7. Opening: Brave Search will soon be available to feed other search engines.

These privacy features seem to resonate with users as they have grown to 80 million requests per month since launch in June.

“Brave Search has grown significantly since its release last June, with nearly 80 million queries per month. Our users are happy with the comprehensive privacy solution that Brave Search provides against Big Tech by being integrated into our browser, ”said Brendan Eich, CEO, and co-founder of Brave.

While Brave Search does not currently display ads, it will soon be ad-supported. Brave says they will offer an ad-free premium version in the future, but there are no details regarding the cost of the service.

For those who want to help Brave Search become more useful and display relevant search results, Brave also launched the Web Discovery Project today.

If you opt for the Web Discovery Project, Brave Browser will download anonymous data about searches and visits to web pages made in the browser. This data will be used to refine the Brave Search index and display more relevant search results.

This feature is disabled by default, but users can join the project by going to Settings > To look for and activating the ‘Web Discovery Project’ parameter.


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