Brave web browser will add bounce tracking privacy protection


Brave, the privacy-conscious web browser, has announced plans to introduce additional privacy protections against “tracking bounce,” a new form of tracking that is not currently blocked by the browser.

The new system, which the Brave team calls “anti-bounce,” addresses the method of bounce tracking, which ignores user privacy preferences such as the “Do Not Track” setting and cookie blocking. third.

tracking parameters
User tracking settings on Brave

Redirects used to track users

Online advertisers and their partners are using a new trick to bypass user preferences while operating legally by redirecting users through a tracking site that redirects them to the intended destination.

With this bounce, when a user attempts to visit a site, the tracker will be able to capture both the originating site and the destination URL.

This only happens for a brief moment, almost imperceptibly in most cases, and is called “bounce tracking”.

Diagram showing how rebound tracking works
Diagram showing how rebound tracking works
Source: Courageous

If a user visits two or more sites that link to the same bounce-tracking network, significant parts of their browsing activity could be monitored.

Blocking trackers on these sites (origin and destination) does not prevent bounce tracking from discovering your whereabouts online, as the problem lies with navigation.

The solution of courage

Brave’s debouncing works by actively monitoring sites that use bouncing trackers and replacing the injected intermediate tracking URL with the final URL the user intends to visit. As such, navigation becomes direct and the user’s privacy remains intact.

The same system will remove affiliate marketing links and send the user directly to the target site via a “clean” URL.

But Brave won’t rely solely on dynamic detection of bounce tracking URLs. The project maintains a constantly updated list of these intermediate URLs, so a quick check against them will take place.

Right now, the new anti-bounce system is being tested on the “Nightly” version of Brave, and the announcement promises full deployment on desktop version 1.32.

The new feature will be enabled automatically in the web browser, but those who still want to go through bounce tracking domains will have the option to turn it off.

Browsing tracking remains a concern for Internet users, and the World Wide Web Consortium has formed a working group to develop a standardized protection system against it.

Other browsers currently offering redirect tracking protection include Firefox and Safari.

Firefox follows a list-based approach to combating the problem, while Safari uses algorithmic detection to detect and tag sites that push users through unnecessary bounce patterns.

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