Google will stop Incognito Mode Detection for sites

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Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode is about to become more private.

incognito mode detection image1
(Image credit: Google)

Individuals select to browse the web privately for numerous reasons. Some wish to safeguard their privacy on shared or borrowed devices or to omit specific activities from their browsing histories. In circumstances such as political oppression or domestic abuse, individuals might have essential privacy reasons for hiding their web activity.

So, if you’re browsing under the nose of the internet and believe that as long so you’re in incognito mode, you’ll be fine. Then you’re wrong. There are sites that utilize a loophole in the way Chrome works to determine if a user is accessing their content through private browsing. It can not just challenge to users’ privacy; however, it is likewise being used to avoid users from preventing metered paywalls.

Closing the Incognito Mode FileSystem API loophole

Google is closing this loophole, which relies on FileSystem API and guarantees full privacy for users when utilizing incognito mode. Sites check this availability of FileSystem API to use the loophole when users access the site. Chrome disabled the FileSystem API in Incognito Mode to prevent leaving traces of activity on somebody’s device. Moreover, if they get an error message, determine that a private session is taking place and provide the user with a private experience.

chrome icognito mode detection
(Image credit: Google)

Coming July 30, with the release of Chrome 76 as arranged, it will modify the FileSystem API and provide a remedy for Incognito Mode Detection. It will similarly work to solve any other present or future ways of Incognito Mode detection.

You may also like: Google is testing play/pause button for Chrome’s toolbar

However, what about the publishers of sites who are impacted by these modifications, and who use metered paywalls? Metered Paywalls are those sites where you can check out their various short articles free of charge without asking you to make an account or spend for a membership. Google acknowledged their concerns, however firmly insisted that it will prioritize users’ privacy and cautioning against impulsive measures:

Sites that wish to deter meter circumvention have options such as reducing the number of free articles someone can view before logging in, requiring free registration to view any content, or hardening their paywalls. Other sites offer more generous meters as a way to develop affinity among potential subscribers, recognizing some people will always look for workarounds.  We suggest publishers monitor the effect of the FileSystem API change before taking reactive measures since any impact on user behavior may be different than expected and any change in meter strategy will impact all users, not just those using Incognito Mode.

The move is a welcome one for users who require private browsing, specifically if they’re residing in politically turbulent areas.

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