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BizReport : Internet : April 23, 2019

As the web turns 30, what is coming next?

This year the world wide web turns 30, and while the digital space has definitely caught consumers' attention, there are areas of the web that its creators could never have envisioned. We asked a digital expert to weigh in on the internet at 30.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How is the Internet different today from what was expected 30 years ago?

Brendan Eich, CEO & Founder, Brave: In the mid-90s, privacy by default wasn't even a thought for most industry leaders - they wanted to make the Web useful. Cookies were invented to help users maintain their login across web pages, but in combination with JavaScript, it has been exploited for targeted ads and invasive trackers. These unintended consequences have led to surveillance capitalism and a system in desperate need of reform.

The Internet has without a doubt helped people bring a great deal of good into the world, but the advertising industry has certainly evolved for the worse because of the Web's unintended consequences. Consumers' activity is tracked, and data innocently shared on web sites and platforms such as Facebook are monetized and used to create targeted ad campaigns. Publishers are howling for a new model as their net revenue declines. Advertisers and publishers are confronted with massive fraud as well as inefficiency on top of user rebellion in the form of ad and tracker blocking.

Kristina: Do you see these differences as problems that should be fixed?

Brendan: Yes, absolutely. The entire Web ecosystem is broken, albeit unintentionally. It is estimated that in 2018, advertisers spent approximately $100B on digital ads in the US alone, but the experience has evolved to benefit a few platform operators and ad tech intermediaries at the expense of the user. Users feel that their web browsers are slow and full of abusive ads and constant tracking. Content creators are seeing declining revenue streams, and advertisers are experiencing record fraud - estimated at $20B in fraud in 2018, expected to grow to $50B
by 2025.

Everyone -- users, publishers, and advertisers -- is losing in today's digital advertising landscape, and with GDPR  and similar regulations blooming all over the world, this broken ecosystem simply cannot continue as we know it.

Kristina: How might we go about correcting these issues?

Brendan: Privacy by default should be the way forward for all browsers and should be the standard for all web experiences. Because there is so much money tied up in the advertising business, the entire digital advertising process needs to be tamed and reformed, putting control back in the user's hands.

Kristina: Tell me about the Brave Software browser - is it a step toward improving privacy and data issues?

Brendan: Brave was founded to address these very problems. We reimagine the Web by creating a mutually beneficial structure for users, publishers and advertisers, excluding tracking platforms, ad exchanges, and other intermediaries. By guarding user data where it originates -- on your device, in your browser -- through on-by-default privacy protection, and then offering an opt-in private and anonymous ad system, you as the user are in control of your web browsing experience. Brave browsers users who do opt into viewing private ads from Brave's brand partners are rewarded for their attention with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) via Brave Rewards. BAT can be exchanged via our partners Uphold and Coinbase. Soon, via our partnership with TAP Network, and it it will be possible to use tokens for hotel stays worldwide, restaurant vouchers, exclusive entertainment experiences as well as gift cards from top national brands including Amazon, Starbucks, Uber, Apple and many more. The benefits to users' Web experience is also immediately evident: pages load 2-8 times faster on mobile, battery efficiency improves up to two-fold, and users gain security peace of mind in knowing that their data is protected.

Advertisers engaging with Brave browser will have the opportunity to reach a guaranteed and highly engaged audience that has opted into viewing advertisements - something the traditional ecosystem cannot guarantee. Publishers and creators on YouTube (whom users tip and support directly) benefit from increased revenue share as the advertising intermediaries have been removed.

Tags: advertising, Brave, digital marketing, ecommerce, Internet, internet marketing, loyalty marketing, search marketing, social marketing

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