Brave Formally Files GDPR Complaint Against Google’s Alleged Abuse of Data Sharing


Brave, an open-source browser with more than 10M monthly active users, had finally taken a legal step against search engine giant Google. On March 16, a formal complaint that details about the search engine’s violation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was filed by Brave in Europe. 

Last September, the chief policy officer at Brave, Dr. Johnny Ryan, published a blog on the company’s official website. In that particular post, he claimed that Brave had uncovered a mechanism that can prove that Google is circumventing its supposed GDPR privacy protections. Notably, Dr. Ryan had messaged Google asking particularly what the company does to his data. It has been months, but the search engine giant still has no response to the question. 

Notably, the evidence uncovered by Brave had been submitted to the Irish Data Protection Commission. The company strongly claims that Google sends protected data to a wide array of companies. However, Brave said that it could not provide information as to what the companies did with the information because the search engine loses control once the data had been sent.

Again, this February, Dr. Ryan reiterated Brave’s claims that Google shares private and valuable data using an array of its distinct services, ultimately presenting itself as a warehouse of free data that can be accessed by everyone. He emphasized that the practice is clearly against the standards set forth by the GDPR. In that interview, Dr. Ryan said that Brave would take the necessary action if the regulators choose to disregard their warnings and allegations. This recent development is proof that Brave is serious with its words. 

According to the filing submitted to the Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC), the commission that oversees Google’s data protection standards throughout the Eurozone, Google has violated Article 5(1) b of the GDPR. This section notably explains that data must only be collected and processed for legitimate and specified purposes and nothing more. 

Notably, Brave has conducted a study dubbed “Inside the Black Box.” The team examined a diverse set of documents originally written for Google’s developers, tech partners, lawmakers, business clients and users. They have concluded that Google collects private data via integration with operating systems, websites, and applications, and ultimately use such information for ill-defined transactions and activities. 

Is Brave afraid of the competition?

When the news broke out, some industry analysts were quick to voice out that Brave is trying to outrank Google, which at this point, is still miles away from the fast-rising browser. However, Dr. Ryan clarified that the company is growing nicely and that it doesn’t need the help of regulators to continue its growth. He noted that currently, Brave is fast and excellent as it is and that the browser would even get better without outside help. 

Just recently, a study highlighted Brave’s user privacy system, claiming that it is much better than those of Google Chrome and other leading browsers in the industry.  


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