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Chrome Will Not Allow Sites To Detect Incognito Mode Users

No one likes paywalls and Google is aware. That is the reason the new Chrome 76 update will block the main mode of incognito mode detection that sites use.

Posted: 12 Aug, 19 Updated: 14 Dec, 21 by Antoniy Yushkevych 2 Min

Despite the controversies around the name, Google attempts to bring as much comfort and usability to its users as possible. One thing that the internet giant is against are paywalls for content. Many users prefer to browse the net using Incognito mode in Chrome for reasons of privacy. Unfortunately, there was a loophole present in older versions of the browser which allowed websites to detect whether the users were visiting in Incognito mode and many decided to include pages like this:

The Paywall

Of course, the “create a free account” is not as free as you think. There is a limit to how many articles you can view a day and you have to pay to view more… yeah, free. As if the advertising revenue was not enough for such sites.

Google has decided to address this issue in its latest Chrome 76 update by removing a method which websites could use to detect visitors that use Chrome’s Incognito Mode.

With this new update, sites will no longer be able to check whether the FileSystem API is available or not. Previously, if it was not available, websites would know that the user was using an Incognito tab. "The behavior of the FileSystem API will be modified to remedy this method of Incognito Mode detection," Google said in a recent blog post.

In a promising statement, "Chrome will likewise work to remedy any other current or future means of Incognito Mode detection." Google also noted that it will attempt to stop other methods of private mode detection. This is good news as there are already sites such as The New York Times that found out new methods to do so.

Antoniy Yushkevych

Antoniy Yushkevych

Master of word when it comes to technology, internet and privacy. I'm also your usual guy that always aims for the best result and takes a skateboard to work. If you need me, you will find me at the office's Counter-Strike championships on Fridays or at a.yushkevych@monovm.com