Welcome to this week’s BAT Community Update! Thank you to Dan Murphy for his contributions!
Blog: Brave’s R&D team unveils zkSense, a novel privacy-preserving mechanism for bot detection in smartphones
In this blogpost, we present zkSENSE: a novel privacy-preserving mechanism for bot detection in smartphones. zkSENSE leverages device sensors, such as the gyroscope and accelerometer, to measure the device’s moving patterns, while either a human or a bot is interacting with an app on the device. This way, zkSENSE can infer whether specific actions in an app (e.g., click/type events) were carried out by a human or a bot with high accuracy even when there are artificial device movements (i.e., device placed on a swinging cradle). To preserve the privacy of the user, zkSENSE does not transfer potentially sensitive sensor data to a remote server. Instead, zkSENSE uses zero-knowledge proofs to demonstrate to a remote server that an action was carried out by a human without revealing any additional information.
Read the full post here: https://brave.com/zksense-a-privacy-preserving-mechanism-for-bot-detection-in-mobile-devices/
Blog: Dr Johnny Ryan of Brave & Dr Orla Lynskey of the London School of Economics make a submission to the UK Competition & Markets Authority outlining significant digital market problems
The UK Government Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is examining online platforms and the digital advertising market. Dr Johnny Ryan of Brave, and Dr Orla Lynskey of the London School of Economics have made a submission to the CMA that outlines significant market problems.
Dominant digital companies use their position of market power to create “cascading monopolies”. They do this in part by cross-using data for purposes beyond what the data was initially collected for. This offensive leveraging of data avoids the need to compete in each new domain on the merits.
These firms also use their position to extract amounts of data from individuals beyond what might be considered a fair or reasonable exchange. The digital industry’s data excess norm is similar to the banking industry’s credit excess norm that precipitated the financial crisis. It incentivizes a shadow economy based on unnecessary and insecure data processing.
Read the full post here: https://brave.com/uk-cma/
Blog: Brave writes to all European governments to press for strong ePrivacy protections
Later this week, European governments will deliberate over proposals to reduce the level of privacy protection in the new ePrivacy Regulation. To aid to their deliberations, Alan Toner, a Policy Expert at Brave, has today written to representatives of each government to present Brave’s view of the practical reasons why there should be strong privacy protections in the new Regulation.
Brave’s letter, sent this morning, summarizes why a prohibition on cookie walls is necessary. It also supports the “privacy by default” requirement for web browsers and operating systems. Both have been removed by the Council of Ministers, but Brave argues that there are good economic and practical reasons why the Council should restore them.
We trust that governments across Europe understand the need for strong privacy protections in the ePrivacy Regulation to protect fundamental rights, and to spur innovation.
Read the full post here: https://brave.com/eprivacy-october2019/
Dev Channel v0.71.90
Beta Channel v0.70.112
Brave Team Tweets
BAT/Brave in the News
From Wired: Help Us Recognize Tech That Protects Our Values
The Tech Spotlight will highlight products and policies that shape a more responsible future, embrace privacy and accountability, and aim to minimize technological harms. Brave fans, please nominate us by Nov. 30th!
Check the story out here: https://www.wired.com/story/help-us-recognize-tech-that-protects-our-values/
Nominate Brave here: https://www.belfercenter.org/TechSpotlight/Nominate
IPFS Browser Update — Brave now supports IPFS! (Turn it on under Settings > Extensions)
Decentralization can feel slow in providing user-centric approaches to the internet’s biggest problems. Right now, software that is fully in the control of the user is often too technical, too fragile, and too time-consuming to be the default choice.
But we’re making headway. Today, we’d like to share some collaborations the IPFS project has had in the works for a while, which brings us a few steps closer to making unmediated access to information just work… by solving that “last mile” problem and integrating IPFS directly into web browsers.
Read the full text here: https://blog.ipfs.io/2019-10-08-ipfs-browsers-update/
Blockchain in the Enterprise: Charting the Path to Pilots
When Bitcoin crashed in 2018, many analysts called the decentralization movement “dead.” Global corporations were highly scrutinized for exploring distributed ledger technology.
However, behind the scenes, many of the world’s leading companies were working hard to secure strategies to absorb the technology principles to develop solutions that would benefit from the promise of decentralization.
Brave was one of six companies selected from +1000 companies that applied to join the OEBVS program through R/GA Ventures.
Read the full text here: https://medium.com/rga-ventures/blockchain-in-the-enterprise-charting-the-path-to-pilots-7507eb04ca5c
News You Should Know
Twitter “Unintentionally” Used Your Phone Number for Targeted Advertising
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: you give a tech company your personal information in order to use two-factor authentication, and later find out that they were using that security information for targeted advertising.
Read the full text here: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/10/twitter-unintentionally-used-your-phone-number-targeted-advertising
New DuckDuckGo Research Shows People Taking Action on Privacy
Our recent survey of a random, representative sample of U.S. adults (not just DuckDuckGo users — methodology below) found that in the past year a whopping 79.2% (± 2.3) of people have adjusted privacy-related settings on their social media accounts or reduced their social media usage. In addition, almost a quarter of people surveyed (23% ± 2.4) have “deleted or deactivated a social media profile due to privacy concerns.” These numbers echo findings from a 2018 Pew Research Center survey.
Read the full text here: https://spreadprivacy.com/people-taking-action-on-privacy/