Blog: Brave’s R&D team unveils THEMIS, a novel privacy-by-design ad platform that requires zero trust from both users and advertisers. This decentralized protocol further improves upon the current BAT-based ad ecosystem.
This post describes the work done by Gonçalo Pestana, Research Engineer, Iñigo Querejeta-Azurmendi, Cryptography Engineer, Dr. Panos Papadopoulos, Research Scientist, and Dr. Ben Livshits, Chief Scientist; this post is also part of a series that focuses on further progressive decentralization for Brave ads.
Note: THEMIS is primarily a research effort for now and does not constitute a commitment regarding product plans around Brave Rewards.
The whitepaper introducing the Basic Attention Token (BAT)  was released mid 2017 and, since then, BAT has been used by millions of users, advertisers, and publishers, each using and earning BAT through the Brave Browser (Figure 1) . It has been a long ride since 2017 and we’re very proud that BAT is acknowledged as one of the most successful use cases for decentralized ledgers and utility tokens.
In line with these goals, Brave’s research team has been working on a decentralized and privacy-by-design protocol that further improves upon the current BAT-based ad ecosystem. In this first post in a series of blog posts, we present THEMIS: a novel privacy-by-design ad platform that requires zero trust from both users and advertisers alike. THEMIS provides auditability to all participants, rewards users for interacting with ads, and allows advertisers to verify the performance and billing reports of their ad campaigns. In this blog series, we describe the THEMIS protocol and its building blocks. In the next post, we will present a preliminary scalability evaluation of THEMIS in a deployment environment.
Read the full post here: https://brave.com/themis/
Blog: California Privacy Rights Act to define and limit “cross-context behavioral advertising” by Brave’s Dr. Johnny Ryan
A court decision on Friday (19 June 2020) makes it highly likely that Californians will vote on the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), the successor to the CCPA. Disclosure: I have contributed to the text of this bill.
On Friday, a decision at the Sacramento County Superior Court cleared a bureaucratic hurdle that would have delayed a referendum on the California Privacy Rights Act for two years. The Act will now be voted on in November 2020, as planned.
Polling conducted by Mr Mac Taggart in late 2019 shows that 88% of Californians say they will vote in favor of the ballot initiative. Only 4% say they would vote to oppose it.
Read the full post here: https://brave.com/cpra-cross-context-behavioral-advertising/
Spotted in the wild: Brave inserts shipping to Newegg customers!
For a limited time only, Newegg orders will include Brave shipping inserts. 250K Brave shipping inserts will be included in orders shipped from Newegg, and include a link and QR code for Newegg customers to download and experience a new Internet with Brave.
Newegg, Inc. is the leading tech-focused e-retailer in North America, with a global reach into more than 80 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.
Brave Ads users may recall receiving ads from Newegg while browsing, or may have spotted their Sponsored Images on Brave’s New Tab Page that ran in the US.
Try Brave Ads today and earn BAT tokens, see ads curated just for you, and get access to exclusive deals & offers from our advertisers: brave://rewards
Brave Rewards Updates
Hotfix: Decreased BAT / 0.0 BAT bug on Android hotfix has been released v1.10.99
We rolled a hotfix on 6/25 that will automatically restore affected users’ BAT balances in Brave Rewards. The hotfix will be applied in version 1.10.99, and will restore lost BAT automatically. If you were affected, please keep an eye out for the app update and check your Brave Rewards BAT balance a few minutes after updating. You can check for available app updates by looking in the Google Play Store on your device.
Exception: If you’ve ever made a tip or auto-contribution to creators, you will see your BAT restored starting next week.
If you were affected by this, downloaded the hotfix and it restored your BAT, please write here and let us know that it fixed the issue for you.
We thank everyone who was affected for their patience, and would like to extend special thanks to those users who assisted us in investigating the issue.
Brave & BAT Team
Please report any issues here: https://www.reddit.com/r/BATProject/comments/hfsvh9/update_decreased_bat_00_bat_bug_on_android_hotfix/
Megathread: YouTube ads not blocked — You can help by submitting some info
This is the official megathread for the “YouTube ads not blocked” issue on Brave. We’ve already rolled out one hotfix for this on Android and desktop, so please check for app updates on the Google Play store or in brave://version.
If you’re certain you’re on the latest version of Brave and still seeing ads on YouTube, you can help us by providing the following information below:
- Which version # of Brave are you on? (brave://version) And which platform (Android, MacOS, iOS, PC, etc.)?
- Go to brave://components and check Brave Ad Block Updater for Status and Version #. (It should be version 1.0.616.)
(Optional) See if you see YouTube ads playing in a Private Window.
Note: If you’re on desktop, you can check for updates by going to brave://help. If you’re on Android, you must check the Android app store.
You can safely post this information publicly in the comments section.
Thank you for your help and patience!
This Week in Sponsored Images
This week, find images from The Home Depot, Bybit, Upland, and Crypto.com in Brave’s New Tab Page.
The Home Depot is the latest brand to join our growing list of New Tab Page sponsors which includes Verizon, PayPal, Newegg, Western Digital, Chipotle, Khan Academy, Crypto.com, Tezos, Upland, and more.
The Home Depot, Inc. is the largest home improvement retailer in the United States, supplying tools, construction products, and homegoods services.
Brave Creator Spotlight (in partnership with Everipedia)
Michael Gu (Boxmining), YouTube Creator
Want to learn more about crypto/blockchain? Podcast host, YouTuber, and cryptocurrency educator, Michael Gu, has you covered. His channel, Boxmining, has over 202,000 subscribers and over 12,498,469 views!
Read Everipedia’s article on Michael Gu: https://everipedia.org/wiki/lang_en/michael-gu
Subscribe to Boxmining: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxODjeUwZHk3p-7TU-IsDOA
Watch Michael Gu’s interview with Brendan Eich (Brave CEO) from 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGoFhSLxNqs
Desktop Nightly Channel v1.12.54
Desktop Dev Channel v1.11.78
Desktop Beta Channel v1.11.77
Desktop Release Channel v1.10.97
Android Release Channel v1.10.99
Stay ahead of bugs and benefit from all the latest updates & fixes by keeping your Brave browser updated to the latest version!
To update your Brave browser on desktop, go to brave://help;
On mobile, if you don’t receive updates automatically, you can manually update your Brave browser app from the Play and iOS app stores.
Brave Team Tweets
News You Should Know
Week in Ethereum News: The Death (And Rebirth) of Privacy
With much of the world homebound in the midst of this global pandemic, more and more of our time is being spent online, within the digital world of the internet.
Each day we connect with our loved ones, conduct our business, keep ourselves entertained, and watch the chaos unfold around us through little rectangles of technicolor light in our living rooms and offices. But do we know who’s watching us from the other side?
While we innocently search, post, watch, share, and communicate with one another in many forms, behind the scenes our every move is being tracked, catalogued, and analyzed by the very platforms we use to conduct our daily lives online.
The online services surveilling us, tech giants like Google and Facebook chief among them, have been abusing the power technology granted them and the trust we placed in them. And we have allowed this abuse to go on for far too long.
Read the full post: https://blog.usejournal.com/the-death-and-rebirth-of-privacy-bb7d06e90653
CNBC: Unilever pauses Facebook and Twitter advertising for rest of 2020 due to ‘polarized atmosphere’ in U.S.
Unilever, whose brands include Dove, Ben & Jerry’s and Hellmann’s, said Friday it will halt advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S. at least through Dec. 31.
The consumer products giant has spent more than $11.8 million in the U.S. this year on Facebook, according to marketing analytics firm Pathmatics.
Shares of Facebook and Twitter fell more than 7% after Unilever made the announcement.
“Given our Responsibility Framework and the polarized atmosphere in the U.S., we have decided that starting now through at least the end of the year, we will not run brand advertising in social media newsfeed platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S.,” Luis Di Como, EVP of Global Media, said in a statement.
“We are actively engaging with all digital platforms to make meaningful change and impact trust and transparency,” the statement said. “We have made substantial progress, and we acknowledge the efforts of our partners, but there is much more to be done, especially in the areas of divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S.”
Read the full text here: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/26/unilever-pauses-facebook-and-twitter-advertising-for-rest-of-2020-due-to-polarized-atmosphere-in-us.html
The New York Times: A Former Google Executive Takes Aim at His Old Company With a Start-Up
Sridhar Ramaswamy once ran Google’s $115 billion advertising arm. But he grew disillusioned and worried that growth was too much of a priority.
OAKLAND, Calif. — By the end of his 15 years at Google, Sridhar Ramaswamy, then the executive in charge of the company’s $115 billion advertising arm, had grown disillusioned with the business he had helped build.
The relentless pressure to maintain Google’s growth, he said, had come at a heavy cost to the company’s users. Useful search results were pushed down the page to squeeze in more advertisements, and privacy was sacrificed for online tracking tools to keep tabs on what ads people were seeing.
The final straw came in November 2017 when news reports found videos of scantily clad children on YouTube featuring ads from Deutsche Bank, Amazon, eBay and Adidas. The advertisements were served automatically by the technology systems overseen by Mr. Ramaswamy’s team.
“I decided the following month that I needed to do something different with my life,” Mr. Ramaswamy said in a recent interview. “I came to realize that an ad-supported model had limitations.”
Read the full text here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/19/technology/google-neeva-executive.html