I have to begin by saying that feedback presents an opportunity for improvement, hopefully this won’t be taken as an insult.
I been testing brave for a few hours and it seems the “enhanced privacy” promises hold almost no water whatsoever.
I used the most hardened security and privacy settings, including disabling 3rd party and cross-site cookies, the strictest ad blocking and tracking prevention, even webrtc over UDP etc.
Now there are several tiers of browsers when it comes to privacy. Hardened Firefox browsers (librewolf on desktops, mull on Android) are the top tier but they require huge sacrifices when it comes to convenience. Most websites are optimized for chromium and some don’t behave well in a Firefox based browser, Firefox is significantly slower and performs worse than chromium based browsers especially on Android (Firefox Android is very poorly made), and Firefox doesn’t even support 120hz on Android.
Then you have somewhat private browsers like Vivaldi. You get the performance and speed advantages of chromium with solid ad blocking and tracking prevention and basic fingerprinting resistance. Vivaldi is also extremely good when it comes to security, with synced data being end to end encrypted with a password that you set yourself.
Brave performed worse than any of the above in my testing.
The browser failed even the most basic privacy tests. If you go to privacy.net/analyzer and then click on user accounts, you’ll see that brave leaks the types of accounts you’re logged in to (Google, yahoo, Facebook, etc). This is something that Vivaldi passed. Also, if you click on fingerprint analysis in the same page, you’ll see that brave doesn’t hide anything about the platform or browser you’re using. Hardened Firefox lets you completely spoof this information by modifying settings in about:config and using an add-on like chameleon. Vivaldi isn’t nearly as flexible here, but even Vivaldi spoofed chromium engine iteration in my testing. Brave didn’t.
Next, I went to fingerprint.com (they have the strongest fingerprinting implemention in my experience) and scrolled down to their live demo to check their generated fingerprint. This fingerprint is linked to you and changes if the website fails to accurately id and fingerprint your browser. In hardened Firefox, clearing cookies or using incognito mode tricks the website into thinking it’s someone else using a different browser and generating a new fingerprint string. Vivaldi fails this test even in incognito mode. Brave is the same as Vivaldi.
I could keep going on but I don’t wanna make this thread too long. The summary is, when it comes to privacy, Brave didn’t do better than Vivaldi in any of my tests, actually it did worse in several key areas. Hardened Firefox handily beats brave in every privacy category.
Now, I’m not saying everyone needs the level of privacy provided by librewolf or mull, and I will admit that brave does admirably when it comes to speed and performance (beats Vivaldi by a small margin) but I think most people use Brave because it promises enhanced privacy, and on this front it doesn’t seem that brave delivers at all. I mean it’s not terrible, it’s just no better than anything that’s not edge, chrome, or opera. In my experience, the only thing that Brave provides (as of the time of this post) is the illusion of privacy.
Sorry if this was too long, and I’m 100% open to being corrected if I missed anything. I would love to use Brave (being a true FOSS project) if these issues are addressed and if enhanced privacy becomes a reality instead of a promise.