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Brave Browser starts ad trial in preparation for BAT crypto use

Andrew Munro 13 September 2018 NEWS

The details of the experiment are a lot clearer than most terms and conditions.

You don't necessarily have to be brave to participate in the new Brave ad trial. You do need to be on MacOS though.

The reason you don't have to be brave is because it's all quite straightforward. It's actually a refreshing change from the usual morass of terms and conditions that some might consider to be concealing the exact kind of data a company collects from a user.



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The purpose of the trial is to collect user data for the purpose of calibrating Brave's machine-learning advertising engine, powered in part by Basic Attention Token (BAT).

The goal of this system is to create an online advertising system that works for everyone. For users, this is an opt-in system (so ads are blocked by default) where they can be paid in BAT for viewing ads. The machine-learning system aims to deliver higher quality advertising to people and to show them things they're actually interested in and can use.

Website owners, or publishers, also get a portion of advertising revenue from their viewers.

It's not clear whether users will be rewarded during the trial period, but it makes sense to assume that they probably won't. First, because Brave would probably mention it loud and clear.

Second, because the goal is probably to collect data on normal user browsing behaviour. You don't want to skew results with an experiment that just picks up a thousand people signing up for free tokens and then sitting in front of ads they don't like.

"We are developing a system that selects relevant advertisements to display, and times when to display them, while protecting user privacy and securing browsing history on the device. We are conducting an experiment to train the system with real world browsing behaviour.

"We are asking for a small number of people to use the 28 Day Experimental Learning Version of Brave, and to answer questions about their experience," Brave says.

If you agree, which you can do here, you're agreeing to have a sizable hunk of data sent over to Brave for a period of no more than 28 days. This data includes the following:

  • All URLs visited (unless they are visited in a Private Tab)
  • Information about when the browser is being used
  • The location associated with their current Wi-Fi network (if provided by the participant)
  • Public IP address
  • All test ads shown, clicked and dismissed
  • Configuration settings of the ads test and changes
  • A random identifier that is unique to each participant but is not associated with a participant's real-world identity
  • Operating system version and Brave version

At the end of 28 days, the experiment will automatically end. You can also end it early by simply uninstalling the experimental browser.

The collected data will not be shared with anyone outside Brave, and all personal data will only be retained for one year after which it will be deleted, leaving only anonymised scraps.


Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and ADA.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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