Brave Compromises Users' Privacy

I am relatively new to Brave (on Windows 10), and there are two unanticipated privacy issues I have identified.

  1. Brave apparently saves the sites that have been visited in private tabs. I found this when the ‘most visited’ sites were suddenly listed on the starting tab (non-private), which is highly disturbing and the exact opposite of what one would want and expect. I assume that even if one simply unchecks the option to display top sites on new tabs, they are still stored somewhere and pose a privacy risk.

  2. Recently I was about to type something into a search box on a website and was shocked to find that there were several words autosuggested that I had NEVER typed in any Brave tab or window before. I know this because they were all related to a specific project I was working on and completed some months before I even downloaded the Brave browser. So it seems Brave is harvesting search histories from other browsers on my computer, which is very far from private.

For these and other reasons, I will be uninstalling Brave because it seems it compromises your privacy even more than some other browsers out there.

For the first issue you raise, I just tried to reproduce it and I cannot – which is to be expected. Browsing data in private windows is not saved or stored so there is no way for your NTP top-sites to get that data. I tried with a fresh install and no NTP sites listed. I opened a private tab and started browsing more or less normally for about 10 minutes, revisiting several sites as well. Afterwards, I exited the private window and went back to the standard window. No sites are populated on my new tab page.

Can you please try creating a new browser profile and reproducing this issue for us? Simply create the new profile, then open a private window and browse as you would normally (or just randomly enter sites) as long as you’d like. Afterwards, close the Private window and refresh or open a new tab – do top-sites appear here?

The second one is not possible unless you imported data from another browser after installing Brave. I will reach out to security team to confirm but I’ve never known this to be the case as it most certainly should not be.