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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Web Browsers Should Just Stick to Browsing

June 29, 2023

Data is gold. Unfortunately, website operators know that too. There is money to be made with the “gold” that is harvested from a user’s activity. There is so much activity that goes on without the user knowing what data may be sent to a third party. Ars Technica reported that Brave is improving its browser experience by adding another privacy feature. Starting with version 1.54 (the current version is 1.52), “Brave will automatically block website port scanning, a practice that a surprisingly large number of sites were found engaging in a few years ago. According to this list compiled in 2021 by a researcher who goes by the handle G666g1e, 744 websites scanned visitors’ ports, most or all without providing notice or seeking permission in advance. eBay, Chick-fil-A, Best Buy, Kroger, and Macy’s were among the offending websites.”

By default, the new version will block access to local resources. Local resources can include anything the computer has access to such as files, external storage and even printers. Brave will give users the ability to override the default and allow websites to access local resources for a limited time by adding them to an allowed list. It is encouraging that at least two browsers (Brave and DuckDuckGo) are trying to limit the amount of data being exposed to a third-party and protect a user’s privacy. I doubt we’ll see that type of action from Chrome, Firefox and Edge in the foreseeable future.

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