Lots of website data remains after clearing history iOS 15.3-15.4

I recently noticed that clearing history leaves a ton of website data in Brave. I have my phone set to clear everything except “reading list” or “save for later” type categories. The website data remains even when I don’t have any site pages saved. The only way to clear my web history is by going into settings, clicking on the website data page, and deleting the data. Moreover, after deleting data once, a handful of sites with data remain. I have to do a second cleaning to remove all of the data stored. I don’t understand why clearing my history doesn’t also remove all website data especially considering my privacy settings are strict. Also, a lot of the data comes from surreptitious sources that I have not visited. Grammarly data is always tracking me, and it is also one of the sites that doesn’t get erased the first time I clear website data manually. Maybe I don’t understand what clearing cookies and history actually does, but I never see this issue on Android. I also don’t understand why stalker companies like Facebook and Grammarly have the ability to track me when I’m using Brave with Brave search. Am I missing something or misunderstanding something because I don’t feel like Brave is currently protecting my privacy at all. I hope it’s my misunderstanding because I have been a Brave loyalist since 2018.

Keeping this issue alive.

I’m having the exact same issue with the same surreptitious tracking sites. Grammarly is the most pervasive, but FB and Google are tracking me often as well. I have had to switch to always private mode. I don’t use FB, Google, Grammarly apps, and I never click on links to them either, but that shouldn’t matter anyway. I don’t understand why Brave isn’t responding, from what I have seen, to this issue considering that it is a catastrophic failure in the app. I hope it is a glitch as opposed to Brave selling us out, but I’m not feeling very confident about Brave’s future. I don’t understand why Brave hasn’t been much more proactively responding to a problem that completely defeats their mission, so I have to wonder if it is intentional on Brave’s part. I have been loyal to the company for years, so I hope this isn’t due to a corporate decision to abandon us.

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This problem is still here iOS 15.5 latest version of brave on iOS. This is crazy in that even when using so called private mode with auto clearing of all switched on there is separate history and cookies being stored. This even seems persistent when the browser is swiped closed. There is definitely a trace of everything you have visited being kept and it doesnt go until you explicitly delete it.

There is also strange behaviour when doing this - it seems to take quite a while and there is a turning gear while its happening - even when there is very little there - this gives me a very bad feeling - is this being stored somewhere off my device - it should be near instantaneous if only on device.

Big concerns that this has been around for some time and nothing seems to be being done about it. Even bigger problem given the concerns around DDG browser being revealed. This makes me wonder whats being stored in the background on Windows, Linux and MacOS browsers that we cannot see!

I know crypto currency seems to be how Brave makes its money at the moment but I really wish they would stop with all this crypto garbage and fix key privacy issues like this first.

Im seriously considering stopping using Brave right now until this is fixed and out in the open.

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@michal

I am using iOS 14.8.1, on iPhone 8 Plus

  • Brave Browser v1.38 (22.5.13.17)
  • Private Browsing Only
  • Not blocking cookies
  • Not blocking scripts
  • But, blocking the other items of ‘BRAVE SHIELDS GLOBAL DEFAULTS’
  • All ‘CLEAR PRIVATE DATA’ switches are Enabled
  • Not using Brave Rewards
  • Not using Brave Sync
  • Not using Brave News

When I am finished using Brave Browser, I always:

  • Close all tabs
  • Go to Settings and click the ‘Clear Data Now’ button
  • Sometimes, I will click the ‘Clear Data Now’ button twice - testing, to see if lingering items will show in ‘Manage Website Data’

Given all that I just mentioned, I have NOT found items lingering in ‘Manage Website Data’

So, I have wondered if the issue that others find, is mostly ‘iOS 15 + Brave Browser’.

@JX5 , @wtc1000

Might you supply screenshots of the ‘website data’ that you find lingering, re your issues? Before @michal shows up. Thanks in advance.

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I was on vacation and missed this thread, sorry. We will look into this first thing on Monday

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Thanks Mike, I haven’t had anymore tracking issues since shortly after posting my information. I don’t know when you returned from vacation, but my guess is that you found the error and fixed it. I’m relieved, and I appreciate your quick action to address this.

I spoke too soon, Mike. I tried to upload a screen recording to show you my settings, but that did not work. The attached image shows that websites are still putting coockies or trackers on despite having private browsing set to always.
Thanks


@JX5 , @michal

Using my iPhone (mentioned above, iOS 14.8.1), I used Brave Browser in order to visit:

  • cloudflareinsights.com
  • libertyblockchain.com
  • thegatewaypundit.com

For all three sites, my ‘Manage Website Data’ panel reports:

  • ‘No Saved Website Data’

I gave up and deleted Brave this morning then re installed it. The behaviour I described has gone away but the first pages I visited did leave a trace in that they had two caches showing the same way as JX5 had above. At least history wasn’t accessible the way it was before I deleted Brave. History definitely shouldn’t be accessible when in private mode should it?

Once I selected ‘clear data now’ the caches went away and subsequent browsing appears not to populate the ‘Manage website data’ space.

All very odd. I am sure that originally this wasn’t happening as I definitely checked when I had just downloaded Brave on iOS many months ago. I just never thought to check since then so it may have been doing this for a long time.

I will monitor and come back here if it starts saving stuff in there again.

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I have trust issues, so I check my data daily on all of my devices. I also clear my history at least once a day and sometimes more unless I want to go back to my previous pages the following day. I use Android devices and iPhone running 15.5. I am 100% confident that this is a problem that does not affect Brave on Android and never has, and I never use private mode in Brave for Droid. I’m not quite as confident that this is a newer iOS breach only because I came back to iOS in October, so while I clear my history at my normal rate, I did not realize right away that I should look deeper for trackers. What I can say for sure re: iOS is that sites I never visit and who’s links I avoid like the plague are monitoring my data in private mode “always,” something is very wrong. I probably should have mentioned to Mike earlier that I have my vpn always running. Thanks for trying to solve this issue Mike, and to the other contributors, I say at least we aren’t alone. :rofl:

Michal - I appreciate that you will look at this on Monday - hope these comments are helpful.

JX5 - ‘trust issues’ :sweat_smile: completely with you on that. One of the reasons I am using Brave (and like you - always a VPN).

Anyway - further info - After all my hopefulness in the post above I now discover that there are some items ‘hanging on’ in the ‘manage website data’. I am seeing caches being left there after closing all the private tabs concerned. I thought that using private tabs meant that when you closed the final tab all related data was removed? Perhaps I have misunderstood - or perhaps this only applies to cookies but I would like to see caches disappear too as who knows whats stored in there to aid future visited sites to query!

Im fairly sure we don’t see this behaviour in Mac OS version of Brave.

In light of all of this I think it would be very useful for there to be a ‘delete all browsing data’ button on the top level of the browser bar so (in the style of DDG browser) we can clear everything immediately. Having to constantly navigate through the menus every time to clear all data is too many clicks lol.

I always used DDG on iOS (until the recent revelations and moved to Brave on iOS) I would want to be clearing everything before i move on to another site to minimize opportunities for tracking.

Okay so I tried to reproduce it for an hour in private mode, and see zero caches left in ‘Manage website data’ panel.

I closed all my regular tabs, went to ‘manage site data’ tapped to clear all the data, then I jumped into private mode. Browser some heavy tracker and cookie websites. And for me there’s nothing in ‘manage site data’ tab, I can not reproduce any leak.
This is on Brave v1.38

Do you have any reliable steps or websites where this can be reproduced on latest 1.38 build?

I took the attached screenshots yesterday, so that you can see my settings and some sites that are tracking. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I don’t always find trackers when I check data. It happens inconsistently but often.
Thanks Michal

Forgot to add that those screenshots were taken last night.

I see, thanks, so you always browse in private browsing mode, and despite this the ‘manage site data’ keeps filling up?

Hi Michal

I am in exactly the same situation as JX5 above - always run in private browse mode and like JX5 inconsistently the ‘manage site data’ fills with cache entries - although very inconsistently so its very hard to put a definite rule in that will cause it.

No, I never used private mode until I saw a long list of trackers. I wasn’t aware of the website data setting because I was so accustomed to Android’s settings categories. I had just assumed that clearing my history would remove everything. I started checking the website data category more recently, and once I realized that cleaning history wasn’t removing everything, I switched to private only. After switching, I checked web data out of curiosity, and found that trackers were still getting through.

Sorry, I misunderstood and probably explained more than you wanted. The short answer is that yes, they are getting through despite setting Brave to always private.

I am probably experiencing it more than WTC. I don’t think that I have made it a full 24 hours without trackers showing over the course of the last 7 days (at least).