Privacy-focused web browser maker Brave has announced a beta version of its privacy-focus search engine, Brave Search.
“Brave Search is the industry’s most private search engine, as well as the only independent search engine, giving users the control and confidence they seek in alternatives to big tech,” Brave co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich says. “Unlike older search engines that track and profile users, and newer search engines that are mostly a skin on older engines and don’t have their own indexes, Brave Search offers a new way to get relevant results with a community-powered index, while guaranteeing privacy.”
The timing of this is both interesting and non-coincidental: Google Search is ubiquitous and has no serious rivals, but the tech giant has come under increased scrutiny in recent years for its rampant tracking and privacy violations. And regulators all around the world have taken notice, with many launching investigations and formal charges against the company.
Of course, the problem with non-Google search engines, be they big businesses like Microsoft Bing or tiny startups like DuckDuckGo, is that they do not provide the same level of quality as does the market leader. So while Brave’s focus on privacy—similar to that of DuckDuckGo—is certainly laudable, this service will never take off with users if they can’t get the results they need.
To that end, Brave Search is built “on top of a completely independent index,” and is based on the technology it acquired with Tailcat this past March. There are no algorithms to bias the results, as is the case with Google (and most likely Bing), and thus no censorship. And there are some interesting promises for the future: Brave Search will offer ad-free paid search and ad-supported search options and will be available for developers who wish to create third-party search solutions.
Brave Search is currently in beta in Brave browsers across desktop and mobile, and it will become the default search in the Brave browser later this year, the company says. The Brave web browser now has over 32 million monthly active users, up from 25 million last March.