Google to Fix Chrome Loophole That Exposed Incognito Status to Websites


The Incognito Mode of Chrome browser is being updated by Google to protect users from being tracked by third-party sites. The search giant posted a blog explaining the fixation of a loophole that has allowed sites to detect users even in the Incognito Mode. This loophole exists in Chrome’s FileSystem API. The company said in the blog post that the release of Chrome 76 by July 30th will fix this bug. The Web development community is already aware of the loophole.

The Incognito Mode does not save your browsing history and capturing cookies, site data, and other information. However, the sites can still figure out if the users are browsing through incognito mode using the loophole.

Barb Palser, Google’s Partner Development Manager of News and Web Partnerships said in the blog post, “Chrome’s FileSystem API is disabled in Incognito Mode to avoid leaving traces of activity on someone’s device. Sites can check for the availability of the FileSystem API and, if they receive an error message, determine that a private session is occurring and give the user a different experience.

Palser further added, “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.

The paywall sites are suggested to keep a track of the FileSystem API update to perform the required changes in their meter strategy. Most of the trackers from Google, Facebook, Oracle, and more were found on porn websites. They can track everything that you do, even in the Incognito mode.

The fresh changes will only block websites from knowing whether you are browsing in Incognito or otherwise. It will not affect the tracking on porn and other websites.

Robin Parry
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Robin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a masters in Economics but then his life took a 360 degree turn when after working for 5 years in finance his friend invited him to partner with him in a tech startup. Though he had always wanted to be his own boss, he was scared but decided to take the risk. Robin and his partner are now running a successful business and his life couldn't be better. He is a proud husband and father of two teenagers, and one adorable pitbull named Terry.


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