Google to plug Chrome loophole that exposes Incognito status to sites

In Google's most recent blog the tech giant has promised to end a loophole in its Chrome web browser that compromised the privacy of its users by using the private browsing mode & # 39; Incognito & # 39; . [19659002] Currently, websites can detect when a user is browsing in incognito mode by looking for the presence of the Chrome file system API (Application Programming Interface), which is disabled in this mode so that the activity of user's browsing does not leave traces in their

A website can assume that the user is browsing in Incognito mode if they receive an error message when verifying the availability of this API. In Chrome 76, which is scheduled to launch on July 30, Google promises that sites seeking the API will no longer receive the error message.

Google states that "it wants you to be able to access the web privately, with the guarantee that your decision to do so is also private," citing examples of political oppression and domestic abuse as valid reasons for wanting to surf the web in a private

Skip Paywalls

As a byproduct of this modification to Chrome's Incognito Mode, Google recognizes that sites that use a measured payment wall, for example, those that offer a limited number of free articles before subscribing, they will no longer be able to detect when people are circumventing the blockade through private browsing.

"Our news teams support sites with meter strategies and recognize the goal of reducing the circumference of the meter, however, any approach based on private browsing detection undermines the principles of Incognito Mode. that are consistent with the user's confidence and the principles of private browsing. "

Pornography sites and what they know about you

While this change may make it more difficult for sites to know when you are using Incognito Mode, it does not prevent them from continuing to track your use. when it does

The Chrome Incognito Mode homepage specifically says that while "other people who use this device will not see your activity," it may still be visible to the websites you visit, your employer or school, and your provider of Internet services. "

For example, a recent report published jointly by Microsoft Research, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania found that an incredible 93% of the 22,484 pornography websites they analyzed collected data of users and leaked information to third parties.

Perhaps more surprising, the report found that 45% of the sites surveyed used the sites visited to create a profile of gender, sexual identity and user preferences which, for users in certain political environments, could be incredibly dangerous.

If you want to hide your browsing habits from the sites What you visit Whether you visit or the devices you browse, you'll have to go beyond Chrome's incognito mode. Services such as Tor and its Firefox-based browser offer a secure alternative, as does Opera's integrated VPN.

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