The Ad-Blocking Browser That Pays the Sites You Visit

The Ad-Blocking Browser That Pays the Sites You Visit

Published By: Wired, 9/1/2016

Summary: The Brave web browser (released earlier this year) allows only ads that don’t track users from site to site; it has now added a feature to record how much time users spend on different sites and allow them to send micropayments to those publishers. The article raises examples of how the web has impacted the economics of media and publishing, and also touches on online tracking, data anonymization and de-anonymization, and even Bitcoin.

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Extended Discussion Questions:

  • How has the world wide web impacted how people get news and entertainment? How has it impacted how — and how much — people pay for news and entertainment? (For example, the proportion of funding from consumers vs. ads.)
  • How does Brave try to respond to or mitigate those impacts?
  • Do you think micropayment-collection services are a good way to fund content providers? Why do you think they haven’t worked very well so far?
  • Why would the developers of Brave think it’s important to put these two things (blocking of tracked ads and micropayments to publishers) together?
  • Does Brave present any potential problems for consumers? For web content providers?
  • Would you consider using the Brave browser? Why or why not?

CSP Global Impact Learning Objectives/EKs:

LO 7.1.1 Explain how computing innovations affect communication, interaction, and cognition.
LO 7.3.1 Analyze the beneficial and harmful effects of computing.
LO 7.4.1 Explain the connections between computing and real-world contexts, including economic, social, and cultural contexts.

EK 7.1.1N The Internet and the Web have changed many areas, including e-commerce, health care, access to information and entertainment, and online learning.
EK 7.3.1G Privacy and security concerns arise in the development and use of computational systems and artifacts.
EK 7.3.1H Aggregation of information, such as geolocation, cookies, and browsing history, raises privacy and security concerns.
EK 7.3.1K People can have instant access to vast amounts of information online; accessing this information can enable the collection of both individual and aggregate data that can be used and collected.

Other CSP Big Ideas:

6 The Internet

Banner Image: “Network Visualization – Violet – Crop 11”, derivative work by ICSI. New license: CC BY-SA 4.0. Based on “Social Network Analysis Visualization” by Martin Grandjean. Original license: CC BY-SA 3.0

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