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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