brave navigator will be soon automatically redirect web pages using Google’s AMP technology to the publisher’s website. AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, is a technology from Google that Brave considers detrimental to a user’s privacy, security, and experience.
Google claims that AMP improves user experience by improving performance when loading AMP-powered web pages. Pages are served from Google’s servers, and Google uses preloading techniques and its own servers to serve AMP content. Pages loaded using AMP appear to come from the publisher’s website, but this is actually not the case.
In the past, we have highlighted several techniques to avoid AMP pages. Anti-AMP extensions are available for most browsers. Firefox users can view Redirect AMP to HTMLChromium browser users extension version for their browser.
Brave Software highlights the following issues with Google’s AMP technology:
- AMP harms privacy — AMP pages give Google more information because the content is served by Google. Google penalizes publishers who don’t use AMP by reducing search visibility.
- AMP is bad for security — AMP content is loaded from Google, but AMP gives the impression that the content comes directly from the publisher.
- AMP promotes web monopolization — AMP content gives Google more control over the web, using “arbitrary non-standards”. Google controls the layout and technology used by AMP pages, which benefits the company’s core business, advertising.
- AMP is bad for performance and usability — Google’s claim that AMP-powered pages load faster is only true for “median performance”. AMP pages can load slower than regular pages served from a publisher’s website (which Google revealed to the DOJ).
Google is already working on AMP 2.0, even though Google doesn’t call it that. The next version uses Signed Exchange and WebBundle technologies, offered by Google, and will result in “more of the web to be served from Google’s servers” and “give users less control over how they interact.” with this content” according to Brave.
Brave considers Signed Exchange and WebBundles to be problematic from a privacy, performance, and user control perspective.
Starting with Brave 1.38, and already available in Beta and Nightly browser versions, De-AMP is automatically enabled in Brave by default.
When De-AMP is enabled, Brave attempts to directly crawl links to immediately redirect the load to the publisher’s website; this is the case of Google Search among other pages. Brave will also look for AMP HTML markup to identify AMP page loads. Brave intercepts the request and automatically redirects it to the publisher’s website. The company notes that Brave does this before Google AMP scripts are fetched and loaded.
Brave Software plans to extend protection in Brave 1.40 by extending the browser’s anti-bounce privacy feature to include AMP URLs.
Now you: what do you think of AMP?