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Chrome to patch loophole that allows sites to block incognito mode users



Future versions of Chrome will fix a loophole that allows websites to detect and block users who attempt to access them using the Incognito mode, reports 9to5Google .

As well as not storing any local records of your browsing history, Chrome's Incognito mode stops websites from being able to track you using cookies. The Boston Globe and MIT Technology Review, prevents you from reading their articles if you visit they use this mode.

Most sites do this by trying to use the "FileSystem" API, which is disabled while using Incognito mode because it allows permanent files to be created. However, it recently commits to Chromium's source code, which was first spotted by 9to5Google showing that the browser will soon trick websites into believing its FileSystem API is always operational.

Chrome will no longer return a conspicuous error when the browser is in Incognito mode in the future. Instead, it will create a virtual file system in RAM. This will then be deleted at the end of your Incognito session so that no permanent record can be created.

However, this workaround could end up being a short term fix before the FileSystem API is removed entirely. Internal design documents seen by 9to5Google suggest that the feature could be removed if Google discovers that it's not seeing any legitimate use outside of discovering incognito mode users.

The fix is ​​currently aiming to arrive as an opt-in feature with Chrome 74, accessible through the "chrome: // flags" menu of experimental features. This is expected to arrive in April, before hopefully being turned on by default in Chrome 76. We've contacted Google for comment and will update this piece if we hear a response.


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