Google Chrome update closes Incognito detection loophole

Google Chrome 74 Update Incognito Browsing

An update to Google Chrome – version 74, to be precise – has introduced a couple of neat changes that make browsing a little more private.

While the ‘Incognito’ private browsing mode isn’t anything new, there used to be a loophole that allowed sites to tell if users were visiting the site in an Incognito window. With that info, they could then block access to the site if they wanted, which stopped people working around paywalls.

Google announced plans to prevent the issue earlier this year, and these have now been worked into the stable channel release of Google Chrome that will (eventually) roll out to everyone.


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The new Incognito feature isn’t enabled by default though: you need to navigate to the Chrome Flags settings (chrome://flags), and find the option to enable Incognito Filesystem API manually, as noted by Engadget.

The update is rolling out now on all desktop versions of Chrome, and will also make its way across to Android in the next couple of weeks.

Also included in the update is the long-awaited ‘dark mode’, but we haven’t spotted that feature in our own testing yet.

Google gets a fair amount of criticism for its data collection and usage – much of it rightly so – but it’s also making steps to ensure that websites have no choice but to respect the privacy choices of Chrome users.

Read Next: Google’s got more powerful ‘private’ browsing tools on the way

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Oli Lipski
Oli Lipski

Oli is a freelance sex tech researcher based in London. With an MA in Sexual Dissidence, researching sex tech, and a BA in History, researching gender and sexuality, she has a keen understanding of the past, present and future of sex. In addition to SEXTECHGUIDE, you can find Oli's work on titles such as shado-mag, QueerMajority, UnicornZine and more.

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