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