National Advertising Division Finds Brave, Inc. Claim that it Does Not Share Data with Third Parties Supported; Recommends Two Other Claims be Discontinued
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New York, NY – June 22, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined that Brave, Inc. supported the implied claim that its Brave web browser does not share personal data with third parties. However, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue two other claims stating that:
- “Brave stops online surveillance.”
- “Shields everything . . . that can destruct your privacy.”
Brave is an open-source privacy company that offers Shields, a web browser feature that, according to the advertiser, protects a user’s privacy by blocking network requests for third-party advertising and tracking.
The claims at issue were challenged by NAD as part of its independent routine monitoring of truth and transparency in U.S. national advertising. In its inquiry, NAD examined online privacy protection claims, the accuracy of which consumers may not be able to assess on their own.
However, NAD noted that the challenged claims that Brave “stops online surveillance” and “shields everything that can destruct your property” are unqualified and affirmatively promise total protection from surveillance, third-party tracking, and that Brave will not share personal data with third parties.
In support of its claims, Brave relied on:
- The results of a study it conducted that reproduced searches on both Brave and Google Chrome to demonstrate the level of privacy protection provided in Brave through the Brave Shields feature, compared to the standard privacy settings in Google Chrome.
- A study designed to assess the privacy risks associated with backend data exchanges between servers that occurs during general web browsing, including whether a browser’s IP address can be tracked and if the browser discloses visits to third-party websites.
- Its use of other privacy safeguards including its own filter lists based on community reports of privacy issues or concerns, and engagement with third-party lists.
NAD determined that although Brave’s privacy protection might represent best practices in the industry, the evidence was not a good fit for the broad unqualified claims that Brave “stops online surveillance” and “shields everything that can destruct your privacy” and recommended that the claims be discontinued.
NAD noted that nothing in its decision prevents Brave from making properly qualified claims about its ability to protect consumers online.
In its advertiser statement, Brave stated that it “agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendations” . . . because it “strongly supports self-regulation and NAD’s mission.” The advertiser further stated that “while we disagree with NAD’s conclusion that the evidence Brave presented was ‘not a good fit’ for some of the statements that Brave used to describe its product, we no longer use” the two express claims that NAD examined.
All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.
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