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Online advertising enables free content and services of the Internet. One of the free services that is powered by advertising is the browser. 60% of web browsing is done through Chrome, which is owned by Google, which is powered by advertising.
The application that most of us use to explore the web is made by a company that relies on ads, so it is unsurprising that the default of that browser is to allow close tracking of user behavior. When you hit a website, a variety of trackers are logging your data for the purpose of serving you better ads.
Some people don’t like ads, and they don’t like being tracked–but what is the alternative? How else can we get all the content we want? Since the 90’s, engineers have envisioned an Internet powered by micropayments. A micropayments system in your browser would allow users to pay for content with money instead of adtech.
Brave is a web browser built with a modern view of advertising, privacy, and economics. Brave users can pay for content with their money OR by paying attention to ads. This system is formalized through the Basic Attention Token (BAT), a cryptocurrency that can be used to purchase user attention.
Jonathan Sampson is a senior developer relations specialist with Brave Software. He joins the show to talk about the problems with the browsing experience and what Brave is doing to stop it.
If you like this episode, we have done many other shows about privacy, with guests like Bruce Schneier and Samy Kamkar. Download the Software Engineering Daily app for iOS to hear all of our old episodes, and easily discover new topics that might interest you. You can upvote the episodes you like and get recommendations based on your listening history. With 600 episodes, it is hard to find the episodes that appeal to you, and we hope the app helps with that.