The developers of Brave Browser have revealed in a new blog post on the company’s official website that the browser logic for blocking content will change in the upcoming Brave Browser version 1.30.
Brave includes a default content blocker that blocks resources the same way content blocking extensions like uBlock Origin work.
Brave Shields, the browser blocking feature, defaults to a standard blocking level. The component includes other protections, such as automatic connection upgrades from HTTP to HTTPS and fingerprinting protections.
Browser blocking logic changes in Brave 1.30 as follows:
In order to improve privacy and web compatibility, Brave will not by default apply network-level filter list blocking to sub-resources on the same site, starting with version 1.30, or beta and nightly versions. at the time of this publication.
Brave continues to block third-party resources as before, even in standard mode. The company notes that it decided to roll out the change for two reasons. First, because it improved Brave’s protections that limit tracking of first-party subresources, and second, to reduce the number of times Brave users have to disable the browser’s Shields feature to access sites or use certain features on the Sites.
Removing Brave Shields disables browser content blocking. All site resources are loaded in this case.
How to improve privacy if blocking is reduced in the standard configuration? The company has two explanations for this.
For one thing, it reduces the number of times Brave users have to disable the Shields feature. In addition to impacting the current connection to the site and any resources loaded on it, it could cause users to forget to re-enable the protection feature; it would also reduce privacy in future sessions.
For the second reason, Brave notes that there aren’t many privacy benefits when it comes to blocking first-party requests. The IP address is already known to the site, and other browser protection features provide privacy protections against other forms of tracking.
The change only applies to the web browser’s default blocking behavior. Brave users who wish to retain the previous level of blocking can switch the blocking to aggressive, as it continues to block these proprietary subresources.
Brave has published a table that highlights blocking behavior and the differences between standard and aggressive browser blocking modes:
Brave users who wish to maintain the current level of blocking while using the browser should set the blocking to aggressive.
- Load brave://settings/shields into the browser address bar.
- Scroll down to the “Appearance and feel” section.
- Locate “Tackers and ad blocking” and switch it to Aggressive.
There’s a fine line between protecting settings and ensuring sites load and function properly. Moving to the standard blocking level allows proprietary subqueries that were previously blocked due to included filter lists. Users who want to keep the default blocking level should switch it to aggressive in order to keep it.
Now you: Are you using a browser with content blocking functionality? Have you had any site compatibility issues because of this or content blocking extensions?