The Weekly BAT + Podcast Ep. 41 (May 8, 2020) — Brave Launches Ad and Rewards Campaigns to Support Non-Profit Organizations (Khan Academy, No Kid Hungry, GetUsPPE & more), AMA with Brendan Eich (Brave CEO) & CZ (Binance CEO), Brave Browser Tips & Tricks: Become a Brave Power User! (fan video by Hashoshi)

Announcement: Brave Launches Ad and Rewards Campaigns to Support Non-Profit Organizations 

Today, Brave announced several initiatives that support non-profit organizations working to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaigns offer organizations like Khan Academy, No Kid Hungry, GetUsPPE and others free space to advertise and fundraise for their COVID-19 relief funds, in addition to the opportunity for Brave users to donate BAT in support of causes contributing to frontline relief.

Through this initiative, Brave donates space in its Sponsored Images, a branded image appearing in large format on the browser’s New Tab page, to several non-profits or charities. Brave’s Sponsored Images are viewed by over 13.9 million monthly active users and are valued at $160,000 per day

The first non-profit featured in this campaign is Khan Academy, the educational nonprofit with a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy’s platform is free for students, teachers and parents, and includes thousands of interactive exercises, videos and articles that cover a range of subjects from preschool through early college. Starting May 7th, Brave has committed to running complimentary Sponsored Images campaigns for non-profits for two days a month over the next four months, highlighting one cause per day. The campaigns will link directly to the non-profit’s donation page.

Read the full post here: https://brave.com/covid19-response/

 Video: AMA with Brendan Eich (Brave CEO) and CZ (Binance CEO) on Binance’s Twitter (May 5, 2020) 

In a special AMA for the blockchain community, Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), met remotely with Brendan Eich, the CEO and co-founder of Brave Software, the makers of the privacy-focused Brave browser. The two blockchain industry leaders discussed their partnership and shared vision of cooperation.

Read the AMA transcript on the Binance Blog:
https://www.binance.com/en/blog/421499824684900562/Highlights-Binance-x-Brave-AMA

Note: Transcript has been edited for clarity. 

Fan Video: Brave Browser Tips & Tricks // Become a Brave Power User! (by Hashoshi) 

Hashoshi breaks down 9 useful Brave Browser tips, tricks, and hacks to help you become a Brave power user! These tips will help you speed up the browser use it more efficiently, and even improve its already great privacy features. 

TIMESTAMPS:
0:35 – Put Brave in Hyperdrive
2:39 – Customize the New Tab Page
3:27 – Enhanced Bookmarks and Settings Import
4:39 – Boost your Privacy 
5:23 – Going Ghost: Maximize Privacy With This Feature
6:59 – Make mo’ Money (BAT)
7:47 – Add New Functionality Easily
8:46 – TAB GROUPS… YES
9:45 – Going Ghost by Default! CORRECTION: I messed up and thought the –incognito flag opens with Tor, it does not, it’s only incognito! My mistake.

Growth: Brave Browser surpasses 50 million downloads on Android according to AppBrain! 

Like the ceiling can’t hold us! 


This Week in Sponsored Images

This week, find new images from Khan Academy (global) BlockFi (USA, Canada, AUS, NZ, and UK), Crypto.com (global), and Zebpay (India) in Brave’s New Tab Page. 

Khan Academy received their placement for free as part Brave’s initiative to support non-profit organizations fighting COVID-19 pandemic. BlockFi returns to the New Tab Page following the success of their recent campaign, and Crypto.com and Zebpay join the roster of brands running sponsored campaigns in Brave. 


Brave Creator Spotlight (in partnership with Everipedia) 

UK-based Twitch Streamer & YouTubers, PsiSyn! 🕹🇬🇧

PsiSyn’s Twitch streams and YouTube channel are focused on his ARMA 3, Nether, and Counter-Strike gameplay (+ more). 🎮

His gameplays have attracted over 500K fans on YouTube and nearly 300K fans on Twitch! 

Check out PsiSyn’s Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/PsiSyn   

Subscribe to him on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PsiSyndicate/featured    

Read Everipedia’s entry on PsiSyn: https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/psisyn 

Vancouver-based Twitch partner, Skyhook 

Skyhook is a Vancouver-based creative who loves art, cosplaying, modelling, streaming, and petting dogs. 

Watch her creative streams and see her paintings come to life: https://www.twitch.tv/skyhook 

Read Everipedia’s entry on Skyhook: https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/skyhook-1 


Client Updates

Desktop Dev Channel v1.9.60

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.9.60

Desktop Beta Channel v1.9.59 

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.9.59

Desktop Release Channel v1.8.95

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.8.95

Android Release Channel v1.8.93

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.8.93

Android Beta Channel v1.8.92

https://github.com/brave/brave-browser/releases/tag/v1.8.92

Brave iOS v1.15.2

https://github.com/brave/brave-ios/releases/tag/v1.15.2


Brave Team Tweets

Brian Bondy, Brave Co-founder & CTO
Jonathan Sampson, Senior Developer Relations
Dan Murphy, BAT Community Team, Ad Operations
Jonathan Sampson, Senior Developer Relations

BAT & Brave in the News

Coindesk: The CoinDesk 50: Brave Browser Delivered and BAT’s a DeFi Darling

Crypto loves a troublemaker. When the Brave browser debuted in 2016, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) sent it a cease and desist letter:

“You are hereby notified that Brave’s plan to replace our clients’ paid advertising content with its own advertising violates the law, and the undersigned publishers intend to fully enforce their rights.”

Four years later, Brave is still going strong (while the NAA changed its name). At the end of 2019, the browser had more than 10 million monthly active users. 

Brave’s founder, Brendan Eich, previously led Mozilla and watched what the surveillance economy was doing to the internet. As web users will tell you, looking at ads isn’t really the problem; it’s that the ads look back.

Read the full text here: https://www.coindesk.com/the-coindesk-50-brave-browser-delivered-and-bats-a-defi-darling

GritDaily: TAP Network Can Support PPE for Frontline Professionals

Lin Dai is the creator of a company called TAP Network, a de-centralized rewards program that lets users collect points for the products that they buy online. Points can be redeemed for things like travel, and the program supports giving PPE to frontline workers amid the coronavirus crisis.

GD: How do you spend the rewards points now? 

LD: You can redeem points earned in any of the TAP powered programs universally into gift cards with over 1,000+ top e-commerce and retail brands, from Amazon to Zappos, book travel at 70% discount with 200,000+ top hotels worldwide, donate to thousands of charity partners, including supporting COVID-19 related causes from PPE for frontline professionals to meals for children not able to have school lunches, or enter your points into 2,000 sweepstakes for great prizes, from experiences with your favorite artists to the perfect stay-at-home Xbox gaming package.

GD: What’s TAP Network’s relationship to Brave? 

LD: TAP Network and Brave are two companies with similar missions. We see eye to eye on the need to protect user data privacy and bring more transparency and fair compensation to the consumers in the advertising ecosystem. TAP and Brave announced last year at Mobile World Congress that we are joining forces on building a rewards ecosystem for Brave users. Brave users can earn digital tokens called BAT while using the Brave browser, which is lighting fast and privacy-first compared to Chrome. 

The “BAT” that users earn, they can then “spend” by redeeming with over 250,00 0+ top brands and merchants in the TAP Network. We are excited this long awaited feature is finally live and released to the public in v1.7 of the Brave browser.

The Guardian: Data protection laws are great. Shame they are not being enforced

On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law throughout the European Union. Because it’s a regulation rather than a directive, implementation is not left to the discretion of states; it became part of the legal code of every member of the EU, including the UK at the time. In essence, the GDPR is a set of rules designed to give EU citizens more control over their personal data. The drive behind the regulation was the need to bring the historical patchwork of laws and obligations around personal data, privacy and consent across Europe up to speed and make them fit for purpose in a world dominated by surveillance capitalism. On the face of it, the GDPR looks like a formidable legal instrument.

At any rate, in the run-up to its implementation, the prospect of it seemed to scare the wits out of companies and organisations large and small. It was a gold mine for legal and data-protection consultants. Even amateurs such as me were often approached by small community groups terrified that their email list would get them into trouble because they hadn’t explicitly asked every individual on it for their approval.

The GDPR conferred formidable powers on the data protection authorities (DPAs) of EU states, including the power to impose fines of up to 4% of a company’s global revenues. But so far the number of fines levied has been minuscule compared to the scale of the covert data-broking marketplaces that underpin the revenues of social media and other companies.

So we’re faced with a paradox: on the one hand, there’s massive abuse of personal data by a global data-broking industry; on the other, we have a powerful legal instrument that is not being brought to bear on the abusers. How come? Is it because national DPAs are corrupt? Or indolent? Or just plain incompetent? The answer, it seems, is none of the above. They’re simply overwhelmed by the scale of the task – and lamentably under-resourced for it.

This is what emerges from an investigation by the developers of an innovative browser called Brave, which has led to a formal complaint to the European commission. At the root of the problem is a shortage of critical skillsets. Investigating the shady practices of data-trackers installing cookies on your computer via the websites you visit can be a pretty technical task. DPAs therefore need not just lawyers on their payrolls, but knowledgable, forensically minded techies — and such people are in high demand these days and don’t come cheap. 

Read the full text here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/02/data-protection-laws-are-great-shame-they-are-not-being-enforced

TechCrunch: Adtech scores a pandemic pause from UK privacy oversight

The coronavirus is proving to have an unexpected upside for the adtech industry.

The U.K.’s data protection agency has paused an investigation into the industry’s processing of internet users’ personal data, saying targeted suspension of privacy oversight is merited because of disruption to businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

The investigation into adtech industry practices by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is linked to a 2018 complaint it received about systematic, massive-scale, high-velocity personal data trading associated with the real-time bidding component of programmatic advertising.

A series of complaints have since been filed over the issue across the EU that assert it amounts to “the most massive leakage of personal data recorded so far.”

[…] 

One of the complainants, Brave’s  Dr Johnny Ryan, described the regulatory inaction over a period of some two years since he sounded the alarm to the watchdog as “astounding.”

“They’ve failed to use any of their statutory powers, including statutory powers of investigation,” Ryan told TechCrunch. “We’re not even talking about enforcement. The lack of action is quite astounding.”

“That’s astounding,” he added. “I claim it’s the biggest data breach the U.K. has ever had — and I’ve never heard anyone contradict that. This enormous breach continues every day. The vast RTB data breach is not a discrete event that is now over. The harm is constantly accumulating.”

The Register: FYI: Your browser can pick up ultrasonic signals you can’t hear, and that sounds like a privacy nightmare to some

Technical folks looking to improve web privacy haven’t been able to decide whether sound beyond the range of human hearing poses enough of a privacy risk to merit restriction.

People can generally hear audio frequencies ranging from 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz, though individual hearing ranges vary. Audio frequencies below and above the threshold of human hearing are known as infrasound and ultrasound, respectively.

A few years ago, digital ad companies began using ultrasonic signals to track people’s interests across devices: if a TV advert, for example, emits a sneaky inaudible signal, a nearby smartphone could pick it up and pass it to an app, which updates the owner’s ad-targeting profile with details of what they were watching and when. Now you know when someone’s into cooking shows on the telly, or is a news junkie, or likes crime documentaries, and so on.

In an email to The Register, Peter E. Snyder, privacy researcher at Brave software and co-chair of the PING, said he shared Weiler’s concerns about the privacy implications of inaudible sound.

“[With regard] to Web Audio and super-audible sounds, we’re concerned because audio beyond human perception can be used for a variety of privacy harming purposes,” said Snyder. “Companies like SilverPush have commercialized such techniques, and others have documented them being used in the wild.

“Such techniques could also be used to do cross-domain tracking; sites could transmit super-audible sounds that other open pages could listen for, allowing for the kind of cross-site tracking Brave (and other privacy-focused browsers) try to protect users against.”

Read the full text here: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/05/07/web_audio_api_ultrasonic_leaks/


News You Should Know

Engadget: Browser add-on verifies that sites actually honor their privacy policies

Just because a website presents a privacy policy, doesn’t mean its code is actually abiding by that policy. To make the internet a little more secure, researchers from Waterloo University in Ontario created a browser plug-in that verifies whether a website is processing data in a way that’s compliant with its privacy policy.

The software-based system, dubbed Mitigator, gives users a secure signal when they visit a website that’s complying with its own privacy policy. And if a website requires users to enter an email address, but the privacy policy does not mention that requirement, Mitigator will notify its users.

Read the full text here: https://www.engadget.com/privacy-policy-verification-mitigator-151843900.html


Roaring Fans

From Reddit

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