Brave Acquires a Privacy-Focus Search Engine

Posted on March 3, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Web browsers with 7 Comments

Brave announced today that it has acquired the open search engine Tailcat and will integrate it into its desktop and mobile web browsers.

“Brave has grown significantly over the past year, from 11 million monthly active users to over 25 million,” Brave CEO and co-founder Brendan Eich says. “We expect to see even greater demand for Brave in 2021 as more and more users demand real privacy solutions to escape Big Tech’s invasive practices. Brave’s mission is to put the user first, and integrating privacy-preserving search into our platform is a necessary step to ensure that user privacy is not plundered to fuel the surveillance economy.”

Brave will rebrand Tailcat as Brave Search. This service, combined with the Brave web browser, constitutes what Brave calls the industry’s first independent, privacy-preserving alternative to Google Chrome and Google Search, “which rely on tracking users across sites and have 70 percent and 92 percent market share, respectively.”

Unlike other alternate search engines like Duck Duck Go, Brave Search doesn’t rely on results from big search engines like Google and Bing. Instead, its built on an independent index that Brave says is capable of delivering the quality people expect, but without compromising their privacy. Unlike Google and Bing, Brave Search does not collect IP addresses or use personally identifiable information to improve its search results.

“The only way to counter Big Tech with its bad habit of collecting personal data is to develop a robust, independent, and privacy-preserving search engine that delivers the quality users have come to expect,” Tailcat project lead Dr. Josep M. Pujol says. “People should not be forced to choose between privacy and quality. The team is excited to be working on the only real private search/browser alternative to Big Tech available on the market.”

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Comments (7)

7 responses to “Brave Acquires a Privacy-Focus Search Engine”

  1. basic sandbox

    If Brave is able to pull this off, it will be interesting to see how Brave's results will eventually be different than Google's increasingly human modified algorithms.

    Looking forward to trying Brave Search.

    • dftf

      In reply to basic sandbox:

      Good luck to them!

      According to StatCounter for the period Feb 2020-2021, Google has a worldwide market-share of 92.1%. Bing has 2.7%, and the current "search-engine for the privacy-conscious", DuckDuckGo, holds just 0.6%.

      I think many users will just look for a way to switch-back to Google -- they only use Brave because it has built-in ad-blocking, unlike Google Chrome, and because UI-wise it's extremely-similar (at-least, for the Android version, though I'm sure the desktop Windows version is also) they just use it instead of Chrome.

  2. SaintKaze

    wait list for a privacy search. Well they have my email haha,

    one more thing, they Brave should bring BATs to all browsers.

  3. t-b.c

    Don't miss the point. There is no better time to do something like this than when Australians are all thinking about how much they dislike Google's privacy practices. Here comes Brave, a browser and search alternative that is privacy focused! It's like a hero riding in on horseback, guns blazing, his target the dastardly Google empire... Okay, theatrics aside, if Brave became a major player in the Australian market it could lead to Brave -- by way of then Western Europe and Canada, etc. -- becoming the number two browser in the world.

  4. berbel

    It´s a good news. Brave is highly recommended option to use for privacy-preserving