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Home security The "Incognito mode" detection has not yet been corrected by Chrome

The "Incognito mode" detection has not yet been corrected by Chrome

Websites are still able to detect when a visitor is using Chrome's Incognito mode feature, despite Google's efforts last year to discontinue the detection.

There are several reasons why webmasters want to exclude users who use the incognito mode feature.

For example, some users use incognito mode to bypass content paywalls and various content filters / restrictions. In addition, the current functions of incognito mode (private browsing) in most browsers circulate aggressively against surveillance that prevents websites from monitoring their traffic.

Both issues - and the inherent use of private browsing - result in immediate financial losses. website and the primary reasons why scripts that detect incognito mode functions have become popular in recent years.


Google tried to fix it in 2019

In early 2019, Google decided to take a stand against these scripts. The Chrome 76, released in July 2019, included an update that excludes websites from using the FileSystem API to identify if a user is using the normal Chrome browser or incognito mode.

Prior to Chrome 76, the FileSystem API was simply not available in anonymous browsing mode, and website operators only had to ask this API to find out if a user was using anonymous browsing mode. With the Chrome 76, Google has activated the FileSystem API for anonymous browsers, rendering previous detection scripts useless. However, this information was not infallible. Google did not fully activate the FileSystem API, but simply set a limit on the size of the storage space that anonymous browsers could access at 120 MB.

It took more than a week for developers to release Chrome 76 to find out what was going on and develop script who investigated the FileSystem API to determine the size of the storage space that a website could access and indirectly identify whether a user is using anonymous browsing mode or not.

Two different scripts were released in August 2019 [1, 2] and one of them even reached their website New York Times, confirming how popular these scripts are in news websites.

No new patches

Google promised in August 2019 to fix the bypass and block incognito mode detection.

However, nine months later, it is still possible to identify the state of anonymous browsing in Chrome and everything else browsers based on Chromium, such as Edge, Opera, Vivaldi and Brave, which share the core of Chrome's base code.

In addition, the developers have received the scripts that were announced last year and have expanded support for browsers such as Firefox and Safari, allowing websites to block users in anonymous browsing mode.

There is currently no deadline for a new Chrome update to block anonymous browsing.


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Teo Ehc
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