Brave Browser Mistake Adds Its Referrer Code For Cryptocurrency Sites – quite a big oops also for privacy

The following report appeared on Yahoo! Finance: Privacy-focused browser Brave was found to autocomplete several websites and keywords in its address bar with an affiliate code. Shortly after a user published his findings, Brave CEO and co-founder Brendan Eich addressed the incident and called it “a mistake we’re correcting.” Eich said that while Brave is a Binance affiliate [a cryptocurrency exchange], the browser’s autocompleting feature should not have added any new affiliate codes.

“The autocomplete default was inspired by search query clientid attribution that all browsers do, but unlike keyword queries, a typed-in URL should go to the domain named, without any additions,” Eich wrote in the thread. “Sorry for this mistake — we are clearly not perfect, but we correct course quickly,” he added.
Android Police reports the mistake occured more than 10 weeks ago — and that referrer codes were also included for other cryptocurrency-related sites: The browser’s GitHub repository reveals the functionality was first added on March 25th, and the current list of sites includes Binance, Coinbase, Ledger, and Trezor. Brave Software receives a kickback for purchases/accounts made with those services — for example, Coinbase says that when you refer a new customer to the service, you can earn 50% of their fees for the first three months.

The nature of these affiliate programs also allows the referrer — in this case, Brave Software — to view some amount of data about the customers who sign up with the code. Coinbase’s program provides “direct access to your campaign’s performance data,” while Trezor offers a “detailed overview of purchases.”
Brave CEO and co-founder Brendan Eich (who also created the JavaScript programming language) tweeted, “For what it’s worth there’s a setting to disable the autocomplete defaults that add affiliate codes, in brave://settings first page. Current plan is to flip default to off as shown here. You can disable ahead of our release schedule if you want to.

“Good to hear from supporters who’ll enable it.”

Source: Brave Browser Mistake Adds Its Referrer Code For Cryptocurrency Sites – Slashdot