Over the last few months, I've been reading how great and private Brave is. You know the all powerful tracker blocking browser that 'gives you back the power', yeah that one!

I had honestly not been too heavily into the hype with Brave and just like to have things tweaked and under my own control. Of course an argument can also be made that Firefox is not the best solution either as they have their own trackers embed ( but which can, by the way be disabled under about:config modify). That all said I still keep hearing about how great Brave is.

I appreciate the ad blocking pre-installed approach and if people want to make money they can do it with the browser. Brave even has an integrated Tor mode, which sounds good, not my cup of tea though as Brave is Chromium based and they also claim it's private but still have their own identifiers in it. And how much Google is still in Brave even after all that no-one is entirely sure.

However, (and I am sure this is no real surprise) I've always had this 'I don't really trust them feeling' about Brave. Now, people discovered that Brave manipulates affiliate links! If, for example, someone signs up on Binance, they end up with the referral link from Brave as explained by CEO, Brendan Eich on Nitter (hint: decen Twitter!):

BrendanEich (@BrendanEich)
1/ We made a mistake, we’re correcting: Brave default autocompletes verbatim “http://binance.us” in address bar to add an affiliate code. We are a Binance affiliate, we refer users via the opt-in trading widget on the new tab page, but autocomplete should not add any code.

This all started after a user discovered this affiliate changing behavior:

Cryptonator1337 (@cryptonator1337)
So when you are using the @brave browser and type in “binance[.]us” you end up getting redirected to “binance[.]us/en?ref=35089877″ - I see what you did there mates 😂

There is more though, as back in 2018 on Hackernews the following was posted, great read period:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18734999

And it was not just Binance.us/.com but also Trezor and several ledger wallets which had affiliate links attached. To say that is a little bit shady is a hige understatement, especially for a company that claims to be privacy orientated!

The good news is they've fixed this mess!

Affiliate ID being suggested in auto-complete for specific sites · Issue #10129 · brave/brave-browser
Please change brave-core\components\omnibox\browser\suggested_sites_provider_data.cc into the following to stop making gullible people pay into the pockets of individual bad actors on this project....

...supposedly!

Stay safe, stay secure!

The Privacy Advocate