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Brave Browser Limits Local Resource Access To Enhance User Privacy

by Abeerah Hashim
Brave launches Leo AI assistant to its Android browsers.

Taking another step towards better user privacy, Brave browser limits how websites access local network resources. This measure will likely prevent websites from extensive user fingerprinting.

Brave Browser Limits Websites’ Local Resources Access

According to a recent post from Peter Snyder, Brave’s Senior Privacy Researcher and Director of Privacy, the privacy giant has decided to introduce another major privacy upgrade to its Brave browser.

Specifically, the Brave browser will control and manage websites accessing local network resources, starting with version 1.54.

As explained, access to localhost resources is usually unrestricted in most popular web browsers. These localhost resources include data (such as images, files, web pages, etc.) hosted on the device from other software instead of arriving from the web.

This free access empowers websites to perform various actions. For instance, public sites can query local network for user fingerprinting, to access information from other running software, or to test software. These actions may serve both legit or malicious purposes.

Brave limits this free access by extending the Web permissions API to control sites when accessing localhost resources.

Describing all major feature upgrades that the new Brave browser version will exhibit for users’ privacy, the post lists the following.

  • Automatic allowance of localhost resource access requests from a localhost context.
  • Blocking known scripts and sites from accessing local resources.
  • Introducing the “localhost” permission option (for advanced users) to empower the users to allow specific websites for localhost resources.
  • Displaying a list of trusted websites for localhost resource access.

With these gradual steps, Brave strives to enhance users’ privacy without much impact on the overall user experience. The feature will be available to desktop and Android users with Brave browser version 1.54.

This new upgrade is just another part of a broader plan for Brave to protect its users’ online privacy. Earlier this year, Brave also announced browser integration for Tor’s Snowflake feature to help users access the Tor network in a more safe and more private way.

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