Google is updating Chrome next week, remedying a loophole that has allowed sites to detect people who are browsing in Incognito Mode, when they offer a limited number of articles without a login. Incognito mode lets users browse unlimited articles on websites that offer a limited free number of articles.
Until now, publishers offering a limited number of free articles, were able to detect if a user was in incognito mode. Next month, publishers will not know, and many can change to a hard paywall or registration walls, not allowing any free articles before a user do the login.
The update of the FileSystem API will be released on the Chrome 76, scheduled for July 30. The behavior of the FileSystem API will be modified to remedy this method of Incognito Mode detection.
Now sites could check for the availability of the FileSystem API and, if they receive an error message, they could determine that a private session is occurring and give the user a different experience.
Google says that Chrome’s Incognito Mode is based on the principle that users should have the choice to browse the web privately, and according to Google, people choose to browse the web privately for many reasons, including protecting their privacy on shared or borrowed devices or to exclude certain activities from their browsing histories.