Thursday, 21 October 2021 10:33

Brave browser ditches Google as default search engine

A screenshot of the Brave browser. A screenshot of the Brave browser. Courtesy Brave

The Brave browser will no longer provide Google as its default search engine, instead replacing it with Brave Search, its own homegrown search offering, the company behind the browser says.

In a statement, the company said it would replace Google for users in the US, the UK and Canada; replace Qwant in France; and DuckDuckGo in Germany. More countries are to be added in the future.

Brave was started by Brendan Eich, the former chief executive of the Mozilla Project, which produces the Firefox browser, and the inventor of JavaScript.

He quit Mozilla in April 2014 after a mob took exception to his having donated $US1000 (A$1329) to Proposition 8, a California move to define marriage as being between a man and woman, in 2008.

The Brave announcement said version 1.31 for Windows, the Brave Android app (1.31) and the iOS app (1.32) would all replace Google with Brave Search. Future versions of Brave Search will be supported by advertisements.

Existing users of Brave can switch their search engine to Brave Search by going to the Settings menu. Users of other browsers can also use the Brave search engine.

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

“As we know from experience in many browsers, the default setting is crucial for adoption, and Brave Search has reached the quality and critical mass needed to become our default search option, and to offer our users a seamless privacy-by-default online experience.”

The announcement also said Brave was launching the Web Discovery Project, "a privacy-preserving system for users to anonymously contribute data to improve Brave Search coverage and quality, and its independence and competitiveness against Big Tech alternatives".

"The WDP is a strictly opt-in feature and protects user privacy and anonymity by design, so that contributed data cannot be linked to individuals or their devices, and cannot be linked together for a user or set of users; this prevents deanonymisation," the company added.

Brave also offers Brave Ads, Brave News, a Firewall+VPN service, and the recently-released Brave Talk for unlimited, private video calls.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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