Ah, yes. A new browser. One that aims to rise up against the ad machine and fight for the individual's right to surf the Web untarnished by annoying ads and privacy-challenging tracking technology. Well, sort of.
Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla, has announced Brave, a new browser that will block "outside" ads and ad tracking. The browser will run on Windows, OSX, iOS and Android.
Of the current state of ad-supported Web content, which he calls "a primal threat, Eich said: "I contend that the threat we face is ancient and, at bottom, human. Some call it advertising, others privacy. I view it as the Principal-Agent conflict of interest woven into the fabric of the Web."
In English, that means that Web sites make decisions based on an inherent conflict of interest; that they make money selling ads and are motivated to do so no matter what the cost to readers.
Somehow, Brave serving anonymous ads from a private cloud service is different. With Eich's model, which will target ads "based on browser-side intent signals phrased in a standard vocabulary and without persistent user id or highly re-identifiable cookie," will share 55% of revenue with publishers and 15% with users.
I await the onslaught of lawsuits from publishers accusing Eich's Brave of stealing their own ad revenue. Or the fact that, very much like Facebook owning the social media space, unseating Chrome and Firefox would be a Herculean effort.