Brave targets Google and Facebook in EU anti-competition letter

The Brave Software team submitted a letter to the European Union's (EU) Anti-Trust Chief, Margrethe Vestager, on September 28, 2018.  According to Brave, the letter "describes how a core principle of the GDPR called 'purpose limitation' can be used to prevent anti-competitive behavior by Google and Facebook." 

"Purpose limitation" is described in article 5(b) of the EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) as “Personal data shall be … collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes … (‘purpose limitation’).” 

Brave argues that both Google and Facebook utilize data collected in one part of their respective business to be utilized without user consent in other parts of their business: "Google and Facebook today enjoy concentrated data power, and exploit their position to engage in offensive leveraging." The Brave team then makes two direct recommendations to the EU and Competition Commissioner Vestager:

First, the individual purpose must be tightly defined, so that anti-competitive conflation of multiple purposes can be clearly identified and addressed.

Second, the competition and data protection authorities should together consider whether there is adequate enforcement of the purpose limitation principle. 

The letter comes at the same time that Brave's CEO Brendan Eich is calling on US Congress to implement regulation similar to the EU's GDPR. Brave is a free and open source web-browser that blocks ads and is integrated with a cryptocurrency, the Basic Attention Token (BAT.) According to Wikipedia, "The BAT token is designed to correctly value and price user attention within the platform.Eich is the co-founder and formerly chief architect of the Mozilla project, which includes the free and open-source Firefox browser, and creator of the Javascript programming language.

(Source: Brave)