Privacy-focused browser Brave wishes to become a competitor to Google through a new acquisition, which will power its upcoming Brave Search product, the firm said in a blog post on Wednesday.
Through the acquisition of Tailcat — an open search engine developed by Cliqz — Brave will be able to create a privacy-focused alternative to Google and other mainstream search engines. Brave will use Tailcat’s technology as a foundation for creating its own inbuilt search engine — focused on privacy and transparent web surfing — called Brave Search. Dr. Josep M. Pujol, head of the Tailcat project, said in a statement:
“The only way to counter Big Tech with its bad habit of collecting personal data is to develop a robust, independent, and privacy-preserving search engine that delivers the quality users have come to expect. People should not be forced to choose between privacy and quality.”
Brave further said that while “nearly all of today’s search engines are either built by, or rely on, results from Big Tech companies”, Tailcat is built on top of a completely independent index. Tailcat’s technology provides its users with the “quality people expect, but without compromising their privacy”, and does not collect IP addresses or personal data to improve search results.
Brave is not only developing its search engine with similar protections to its browser — using an open ranking model to “prevent algorithmic biases and outright censorship” — but will also explore blockchain-based options. Once released. Brave Search will make a great addition to the company’s ever growing privacy-focused products. In December, the firm released its Brave Today news reader, which was designed to leave no data trail for ISPs or third parties to collect.
People around the world have been increasingly demanding privacy-orientated products, which is evident from the growth Brave has experienced in the past year. Back in February, the firm announced it had reached almost 26 million monthly active users, a significant growth considering the browser had only around 10 million monthly users back in December 2019.
Unfortunately for Brave, it seems like Google has finally noticed its users desire for privacy-orientated products. The same day Brave revealed its Tailcat acquisition, Google announced its plans to gradually remove tracking tools used to serve up targeted advertising, and will not develop alternatives in the future.