TMH #2: Ad Blockers with Pete Snyder
Published 13 July, 2021
In this episode, I got to chat with Pete Snyder (Brave) about ad and content blockers, and their impact not just on user experience on the web but also the engineering decisions a privacy researcher working on a web browser might have to make daily.
Ad blockers are used to prevent the web browser from communicating with domains and URLs that have been flagged as harmful or malicious in various filter lists. This blocking makes the web browsing experience faster, more private, and more secure.
However, there are lost of questions around how ad blockers work. Some of the things we discuss in the interview include:
– Who decides what gets filtered out?
– Who is responsible if things break on the web?
– What is the future like for blocking technology?
From Pete’s words I got the impression that there’s still a lot of work to be done in this space. Not just technology-wise, but also in terms of the research that’s required to figure out the appropriate mix of compromise that browser engineering, specifically in the privacy space, seems to be.
We also talk about the Brave browser, as it has truly been a pioneer in privacy protections, with one of the most aggressive stances when it comes to protecting the browser user and being true to the browser’s mission as the user agent.