Brave Vs. Tor Browser vs. Uphold.com - Understanding it All

OK. I just downloaded Brave browser and am reviewing the descriptions and guidance on it. And I am a little confused. Please forgive me in being naive on these issues. But, they don’t appear quiet as “crystal clear” to me as I expected.

First off, I will just say that I like what I see here with Brave browser. It is a neat and unique business model and approach to browser privacy. I have installed it. But, I am not convinced yet. “Generally”, I like it. I am interested in being both a contributor and possibly a publisher. But there are some things that aren’t entirely clear to me. Here they are. Any clarification\response is very much appreciated.

  1. I don’t understand if a Brave Browser “Private Window” is a default feature for Brave browser or not. Does Brave always implement this security feature inherently? Or is it an option that can be turned on\off or “selected”. Other browsers allow you to choose to go “Incognito” or equivalent. This “Tor” is better. But, I am not sure if I am using it automatically or not when using Brave. The following page about What is a Private Browser is good. Took out link as site is limiting number of links. And the other topics there are good. And I like the explanation of how it uses Tor. I took out link as site is limiting number of links. And I appreciate the transparency at the bottom of that page under “What if I want absolute anonymity while browsing?” and the link about “Leaks”.

  2. Somewhere along the line I was in the Help Center and Looking at What is a Verified Wallet and I also looked at What is KYC . And I like the KYC idea. But, it looks like Uphold is the only option available via Brave.com right now. And I started setting up an account with Uphold. But then I read Upholds Privacy and Data Policy and also their General Terms and Conditions of Membership.

Have Brave browser staff read these? All of them?

Let me give the following example on the General Terms and Conditions of Memberships.

Section 8.1 As of June 10, 2020:

We may, from time-to-time, contract with other providers of financial products and services in connection with the Platform. To the extent required by applicable law, regulation or any agreement with such providers, we will provide and update a list of relevant financial service partners through the Platform. Contracting with other financial service partners or providers may require us to share your personal information.

That’s just one example But, if I understand it correctly that does not seem to not be in alignment with Brave browsers purpose, mission, or goals as mentioned in the Brave-Rewards-FAQ under Will Brave sell user data to advertisers? Removed link because site is limiting number of links I can post.

Maybe Brave won’t resell user data. But, it appears to me that Uphold reserves the right to resell user data.

So, please do not get me wrong. I like Brave browser and the overall idea and direction. But, some things I am having a difficult time figuring out or understanding.

Any light you can shed on these topics is very much appreciated. Because I may be misunderstanding some of this. But, I think I might at least revoke my membership with Uphold , found via this Brave site, and would like a different method for that. I am trying to find your answer where you say that you are trying to implement other methods in additon to Uphold but can’t find it. But, uphold does not seem to be the best option to me. Unfortunate that it appears to be the only option available right now. Is it? Or am I mistaken?

Thanks,

Todd

Thank you for the thoughtful post. Let’s see where we can help.

First, Brave does not sell people’s personal data: not to advertisers, nor to anyone else. As you may already know, the opt-in Brave Ads system matches ads from a catalog common to all users in a region, based on your interests locally in your browser, entirely on your device. Your personal data therefore never has to leave your device for Brave Ads or Rewards.

Brave operates on the basis of minimizing data flows and storage as a core principle. We go to extreme lengths to ensure we keep only the absolute minimum of user data on our servers, and we share no data except when required to fulfill express user intent. Brave’s uses of personal data are detailed in this table of our Privacy Policy.

Second, please note that you can use Brave as a browser without ever enabling Brave Rewards, and also that you can use Brave Rewards (including the Brave Ads, tipping, and contribution features) without ever registering with Uphold. In fact, a user who opts into Brave Rewards, without taking the further step of signing up at Uphold, is in practical terms unknown to Uphold. Your Brave Rewards wallet identifier remains known only to our servers and your browser. No data associated with your activity is shared with Uphold.

If you do choose to link your Uphold account to your Brave Rewards wallet (by verifying your wallet), then you will get an anonymous payout address generated by Uphold, associated by Uphold with your account there, and separately associated by our servers with your browser’s Brave Rewards wallet identifier. This anonymous payout address allows us to pay you for your ad earnings, but does not allow Brave to learn your Uphold account. When receiving an ads payout, Brave’s server sends your total monthly earnings and this anonymous address in a message to Uphold that instructs Uphold to pay you. Uphold learns nothing about ads you’ve seen.

If you have chosen to sign up with Uphold, then your Brave browser can contact Uphold’s servers in order to query your current balance, or to send tips in near real-time to other Uphold members (e.g., verified creators) upon instruction. Such contact is initiated only based on user actions; it involves directly connecting with Uphold without any interaction with our servers. When making these requests, your Uphold account is necessarily identified — the only additional information sent in the event of a tip is the recipient address and amount. The Brave servers do not receive, store, transmit, or otherwise share any data in relation to these user activities.

Furthermore, all automatic contributions are anonymized such that no one can link these transactions with a specific user’s wallet or browsing activity, thanks to the extensive use of privacy preserving cryptographic protocols. This same property holds for tips and monthly contributions if you use Rewards just by enabling it, without signing up at Uphold. Uphold is used to pay out publishers on the basis of aggregate and fully anonymous monthly contributions, again with no linkability back to any individual user. At the time of monthly settlement, Uphold learns only the total amount of funds sent by all users to a particular publisher over the last month, and nothing else.

Finally, when you use Uphold outside of Brave Rewards (through their mobile app or their website loaded in any browser), then Uphold’s terms and conditions apply and Brave is not involved. We are consulting with Uphold to clarify certain terms and conditions. We will provide an update once we learn more.

Thanks, and we hope that helps!

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