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Google Chrome closes back door in incognito mode

Google Chrome closes back door in incognito mode

A backdoor in Chrome’s incognito mode tells websites when the privacy feature is activated. Google will rectify this omission in the next version of the browser.

Although incognito mode is primarily intended to allow surfing without leaving a browsing history or cookies, it can also be used to bypass some paywalls. In addition, visitors’ browsing behaviour cannot be tracked for advertising purposes.

Certain websites, such as the Boston Globe, therefore use the back door to block access for users who surf incognito. That will soon be impossible, writes 9to5Google.

The problem is in Chrome’s FileSystem API. When incognito mode is enabled, the API is disabled. If a website notices that the API cannot be addressed, this is a warning that incognito mode is active.

Virtual file system

The solution Google is working on is to create a temporary virtual file system in the RAM of the computer when a website addresses the FileSystem API. The website will not be able to detect in which mode Chrome is running. An additional advantage is that Chrome can easily remove the temporary file system as soon as the browser is closed.

The virtual file system will soon appear as an experimental function in the Canary-build of Chrome 74. It is likely that it will be rolled out to the general version of the browser in Chrome 76 at the earliest. Currently, Chrome 72 is the latest stable version available.

Related: Chrome gets never slow mode which breaks down internet

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.