UPDATE: This article has been updated with a statement from Google. –Paul
Brave announced today that it is rolling out a new feature called De-AMP that lets users bypass Google-hosted AMP pages and navigate directly to the content’s publisher.
“AMP harms users’ privacy, security and internet experience, and just as bad, AMP helps Google further monopolize and control the direction of the web,” the Brave Privacy Team writes. “AMP pages are served from Google’s servers, though designed to look like they’re coming from the original publisher’s site.”
AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a non-standard subset of HTML created and used by Google, ostensibly to improve website performance, mostly via preloading. But Brave says that AMP is harmful to privacy and security, and to the web in general. It gives Google even deeper insights into which web pages people are viewing and how they interact with them. It fools users into believing that they are interacting with the original sources of content. And if offloads more and more of the web to Google servers, from which AMP pages are served.
AMP is also bad for performance and usability. “Though Google touts AMP as better for performance, internally Google knows that ‘AMP only improves the ‘median of performance’ and AMP pages can actually load slower than other publisher speed optimization techniques,’ as revealed in Google’s disclosures to the DOJ, pg. 90,” Brave notes. “In many cases, AMP is so bad for performance and usability that web users literally pay to avoid AMP.”
De-AMP is now available in Brave Nightly and Beta builds, and it will be enabled by default in the upcoming 1.38 Desktop and Android versions (and on iOS soon after).
Google has issued a statement regarding Brave’s stance on AMP.
“These allegations are misleading, conflate a number of different web projects and standards, and repeat a number of false claims,” a Google representative told me. “AMP is an open source framework that was collaboratively developed with publishers, tech companies, and Google as a way to help web content load faster– at the time it was created, it took 19 seconds on average to load a mobile webpage on a 3G connection. Today, AMP continues to be a helpful way for websites and publishers—especially those without large development teams—to easily create great web experiences.”
Tagged with Brave