The developers of the Brave browser said that they are working on a function that will randomly generate “fingerprints” every time a user visits a particular site.
In this way, engineers hope to improve the privacy of their users, because advertisers and analytic companies are increasingly tracking people not using cookies, but using fingerprinting. Let me remind you that this concept includes a wide range of technical details about the user, his system and browser, including information about the operating system, browser type and version, hardware specifications, a list of installed fonts, permission information, and much more. The “fingerprints” collected in this way allow you to efficiently identify and track the user as he moves across the network.
The life of analytic and advertising companies became complicated after May 2019, when Google announced plans to start blocking third-party cookies used to track people. During 2019, advertisers and analytic service providers began to adapt to these upcoming changes with the release of Chrome 80. As a result, fingerprinting has already become the main method of tracking users.
Earlier, Firefox was the first major browser to deal with this growing problem: a fingerprint protection setting was added to the browser that allows you to block attempts to collect browser fingerprints. Apple followed Mozilla’s lead a few months later, but took a different approach, forcing Safari to return identical values for some data, such as fonts.
“Unfortunately, despite good intentions, none of these approaches can be called effective in preventing fingerprinting,” Brave developers write. “Unfortunately, the huge variety of fingerprinting approaches in modern browsers makes all of these“ blocking, ”“ false data, ”and“ permissions ”inadequate and useless.”
Brave’s own approach to the problem is different. It aims to make each browser really look completely unique on different sites and during different sessions. Due to the fact that the browser constantly looks different, sites cannot collect user profiles, and, therefore, will not be able to effectively track people.
Currently, this feature is already active in versions of Brave Nightly, and its wide release is scheduled for the end of this year. Technical details on how the fingerprint randomization feature will work are available here . A demo site for testing this feature in Brave Nightly and other browsers is available here .
I recall that earlier the Brave team has already announced plans to deploy a system that will hide page elements that damage the privacy of users. Engineers said that this system will help the browser block third-party ads that cannot be blocked at the network level.