Brave CEO Writes Letter to US Senate Calling for Online Privacy Protections

Brave web browser CEO Brendan Eich sent a letter to the US Senate this week, suggesting that lawmakers implement a law in the US which is similar to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR is a law that regulates how online businesses handle the data of their users, allowing for steep financial penalties for sites that violate user privacy.

In his letter, Eich wrote:

As regulators broaden their enforcement of the new rules in Europe, the GDPR’s principle of ‘purpose limitation’ will begin to prevent dominant platforms from using data that they have collected for one purpose at one end of their business to the benefit of other parts of their business in a way that currently disadvantages new entrants. In general, platform giants will need ‘opt-in’ consent for each purpose for which they want to use consumers’ data. This will create a breathing space for new entrants to emerge.

Last month, CryptoGlobe reported that Brave was using the GDPR statute to file a formal complaint against Google for their tracking practices in the EU. The complaint includes a 32-page technical report which details the full extent of Google’s privacy violations. These violations deal mostly with a process called real-time bidding (RTB), where advertisers can bid for user data to find the best place to send targeted ads. Eich’s letter stated that:

Contrary to some of our industry colleagues, I believe that it is not tenable for any platform, publisher, technology vendor, or trade body, to claim that they must track people in order to generate revenue from advertising. Trust will only return as the GDPR-like laws begin to curtail the online advertising industry’s worst practices.

Brave’s Mission

In previous reports, CryptoGlobe has detailed how Brave is promising to change the nature of online advertising by offering a targeted ad service that doesn't give user data to third parties. According to Brave, they will keep the user's data within the browser, so that the information can be used to personalize ads. This process does not require Brave to broadcast user information to advertisers and publishers.

Users and publishers will both be paid out in the Basic Attention Token (BAT), which has a native wallet built into the browser. Last month, Eich predicted in an online post that an individual user could make over $70 next year if they opt-in to view ads through the Brave browser, with the potential of higher earnings if the price of BAT increases.

Ousted Bitmain Co-Founder Storms Company Offices With Private Security Guards

Micree Zhan, co-founder of cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain, has reportedly stormed the company’s offices in Beijing with private security guards in a bid to take back control.

According to local news outlet Blockbeats, the moves comes amid a battle for control over Bitmain between its two co-founders, Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu. Zhan reportedly took over the Beijing offices with private security guards and then sent a letter to shareholders and employees, stating he was in control of the office and encouraging employees to return to work.

On social media an edited version of the video of Zhan storming the offices is circulating.

In the letter, Zhan apologized for the recent turmoil at the company and said he would take it public in hopes of raising funds through an initial public offering and getting its value up to $50 billion within five years.

On its Weibo account, Bitmain claimed Zhan has been removed from his position as a legal representative for the Beijing subsidiary of Bitmain, and that a team of lawyers will be pursuing litigation. Under Chinese law, it’s worth noting, a legal representative has powers over the company’s capital and assets, and as such the title is usually held by the CEO.

Battling for Bitmain

Bitmain’s co-founder, it’s worth noting, have been battling each other since October 2019, when CEO Jihan Wu ousted Zhan from the firm, sending staff an email informing them they were to “no longer take any direction from Zhan, or participate in any meeting organized by Zhan.” Bitmain could, per the email, “consider terminating employment contracts” for those who went against the email.

The internal dispute between Zhan and Wu started over different opinions on Bitmain’s future. While Zhan believes the firm should diversify and start offering silicon specialized towards artificial Intelligence, Wu has fought for it to pursue cryptocurrency mining-related operations.

After Bitmain failed to go public on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Wu left the company but later on return with shareholder support, saying he would take legal action to regain control over it. At the time, Wu said:

Bitmain is our child. I will fight for her till the end with legal weapons. I won’t allow those who want to plot against Bitmain to succeed. If someone wants a war, we will give them one.

At the time control of the company was given to Zhan, but the conflict escalated on May 8 at the Haidian District Administrative Service Center, as when the co-founder was there to collect documents, dozens of others showed up, including Bitmain’s current CEO Liu Luvao. According to Caixin, a physical fight ensued and police had to be called.

Featured image by Ali Yahya on Unsplash.