Brave browser, funded by an ICO and founded by Mozilla pioneer Brendan Eich, has filed a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) complaint against Google as well as dumping their search engine.
Reuters reports that Brave, a browser that blocks privacy-infringing advertisements by default, has filed formal complaints against Google in Ireland and Britain in an attempt to enact provisions by the recently implemented European GDPR, which would require an investigation into Google's data policies European Union wide.
Brave alleges that Google's "Real time bidding," allows companies to purchase personalized ads that expose more user data including political views, sexuality, and ethnicity than is allowed under GDPR.
Brave's Chief Policy Officer Johnny Ryan told Reuters:
“There is a massive and systematic data breach at the heart of the behavioral advertising industry. Despite the two-year lead-in period before the GDPR, adtech companies have failed to comply.”
Brave's complaint could upend the current data driven advertising model. Google and their parent company Alphabet could face heavy fines as large as 4% the company's global revenue. In 2017 Alpha recorded $111 billion in revenue.
Google claims its privacy policies provide sufficient security for user data and have been vetted by European regulators.
“We build privacy and security into all our products from the very earliest stages and are committed to complying with the EU General Data Protection Regulation,” Google reportedly said in a statement. “We provide users with meaningful data transparency and controls across all the services that we provide in the EU, including for personalized advertising.”
Additionally, CNET is reporting that Brave has dumped Google's search engine in Germany and France having replaced it with privacy centric Qwant.
“The overriding commercial incentive for many ad tech companies is to share as much data with as many partners as possible,” Johnny Ryan said during an interview with CNET. “This is a ‘clean tech’ moment, and ad tech is fighting it the same way that Detroit fought the electric car. It is time to move on.”