For users in the EU and UK, it may seem like every site you visit is blocked by an annoying pop-up asking you to agree or decline cookies being stored by your browser. It breaks the rhythm of browsing and may even shock you into doing some work!
Privacy browser, Brave is set to send the annoying breaches to the scrap heap with a new one-click setting that automatically denies your consent to cookies, without interrupting your browsing. So why do these cookie consent forms exist? And what does it mean for Brave users?
Why do cookie consent statements exist at all?
Cookies are small files that are stored by your browser and that give website owners insight into user behavior. It sounds relatively harmless, but a cookie class known as a third-party cookie can track you around the web and help companies build an amazingly accurate profile of you. This can include personal information such as age, gender, relationship, economic status, sexuality, and other things you don’t want other people to know. In this way, cookies are an invasion of privacy.
Your profile can be used by advertisers to make ads more personal, or they can be sold to anyone who has the money and inclination to buy it.
In an effort to protect the online privacy of its citizens, the European Union has drafted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Directive.
Together, those pieces of legislation stated that cookies (because they can help identify individuals) qualify as personal data, and that companies have the right to process this data only if you give your consent or if the company has a legitimate interest.
On many websites, it’s easy to click “I agree” or “Well done!” button, but it’s often harder to decline, with the option hidden behind layers of menus.
Is there ever a good reason to consent to cookies?
Occasionally, yes. Consent to cookies means that the next time you visit that website you will not have to deal with the consent pop-up. It makes your browsing experience a lot smoother. And just seeing the warning can help you spot malicious sites.
However, if you give permission, you may be giving your data away to an astonishing number of people and organizations who wouldn’t be able to see it.
What is Brave’s new cookie pop-up blocker?
It’s relatively easy to block cookies in most browsers, but that doesn’t stop you from having to struggle through menus to find the option to unsubscribe.
Extensions already exist for most browsers that try to reject cookies and block popups, but they aren’t always transparent and require you to do some research before installing them.
It means the days of manually denying permission are over and you barely have to lift a finger to enable it.
How to activate and use the Brave Cookie Consent Blocker
At the time of writing, Brave’s permission blocker is already active in the latest Nightly versions on Windows and Android, and will be present in the stable branch from version 1.45, with later releases planned for other operating systems.
When your Brave browser launches for the first time after updating, a popup will appear asking if you want to enable the feature. Click Yes, block cookie consent notificationsand you will no longer see a cookie popup.
You can also enable pop-up blocker from the Settings > shields menu.
Brave is a pioneer in online privacy
The Cookie Consent Pop-up Blocker is just the latest tool in Brave’s arsenal to help you keep your information private and your browsing hassle-free. Other settings in the Shields menu will help you block trackers, ads, fingerprints and social media tracking, as well as upgrade all connections to HTTPS. If you’re particularly concerned about your privacy, you can even have private windows open by default with a connection to the Tor network.