Brave improves bounce tracking protection with new Debouncing feature
The Nightly version of the Brave desktop browser supports a new privacy feature that Brave calls Debouncing.
Debouncing is designed to disarm a tracking method called Bounce Tracking, or Redirect Tracking. Bounce tracking refers to methods of tracking Internet users through the use of intermediary domains that get loaded when users click on links. It relies on tracking domains that get injected between a website and the destination of a link.
Site A and Site B may link to Destination Y and Destination Z. These sites act independently from each other. Add bounce tracking, and the opening of Destination Y and Destination Z takes a detour by loading Bounce Q first, before redirecting the user to the destination site.
With Q involved in the process, operators of the bounce tracker can identify the user and create a tracking profile. Clearly, the bigger the operator, the better the tracking.
Internet users may sometimes notice that links that they clicked on get redirected through other sites before the actual destination is opened.
Debouncing in Brave Browser
Brave Browser protects users against bounce tracking with its new Debouncing feature. Brave maintains a list of known bounce tracking URLs, which it sources from various places, including extensions such as Clear URLs, URL Tracking Stripper, and Link Clearer. The list is available on GitHub; it includes widely used bounce trackers such as linksynergy, out.reddit.com, instagram, facebook.com/1.php, youtube.com/redirect, and others.
The browser blocks access to tracking sites found on its block list and loads the destination immediately. Brave Browser applies the list to all links that users encounter while using the web browser.
The feature is integrated and enabled in the Nightly version of Brave on the desktop already. The company plans to push it to the desktop release channel "shortly", according to the announcement.
Brave's Debouncing feature improves the privacy of users of the desktop version. The next stable release version of Brave for the desktop includes the protective feature, which is enabled automatically in the browser.
The company is not the only browser maker with support for such a feature. Mozilla integrated Redirect Tracking protection in Firefox 79 Stable, which it released in mid-2020.
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