Chrome 76 blocks sites from detecting Incognito Mode
Google Chrome 76, the next stable version of Google's web browser, will block sites from detecting whether Incognito Mode is enabled in the browser.
All it took for websites up until now was to use a bit of code, like this one here, to determine if Incognito Mode was enabled in Google Chrome. The same detection worked in several other browsers including Opera and Safari.
Sites are using the information to block users from accessing content. When you open any article page on the Boston Globe website you are greeted with a "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode. To continue reading articles in this mode, please log in to your Globe account".
In other words: the site prevented Incognito Mode users from reading articles at all unless they would have an account and sign in to it.
There are other methods to bypass paywalls, for example by masquerading as Google Bot, changing the referrer, or using browser extensions (which come and go quickly usually).
Starting with Chrome 76, out soon, sites cannot detect whether the browser is in normal mode or Incognito Mode. While that does not guarantee that sites won't put other obstacles in the way of users who visit them using Incognito Mode, it at least deals with the easy detection of the private browsing mode.
Sites may still request users to sign-in regardless of the mode they are in but they cannot single-out users who use Incognito Mode anymore.
Chrome 76 Stable is expected on July 30, 2019. The new browser will introduce other changes, including one that makes Flash use even more annoying in the browser.
Now You: What is your take on the change?
Sweet. Will this feature be in the chromium browser too?
Yes it appears that way.
This is a great change. I don’t have that many opportunities to say this, so good job, Google!
I don’t need Google for that. I use Chrome’s extension ‘bypass-paywalls-chrome’ (for Firefox too)
You don’t get it. There is a difference having something like that native and having it through addons. Native will make all these sites to comply. An exotic addon installed by few people won’t. Soon because of this being native you won’t need an extension to bypass anything. God job Google.
Isn’t there a privacy issue with web sites doing something to determine MY software and settings, or detecting when I’m moving the mouse towards the ‘close tab’ button to give me a “before you go!” pop up?
Is there a Firefox equivalent that will stop sites from detecting private browsing too?
I don’t even know if Firefox reveals the info to sites. A quick check using Firefox’s private browsing mode on the Boston Globe site displayed it fine without the “you are using” message.
Try viewing the New York Times site. If you go to any article there, it will say “You’re in private mode” and then require a login to continue. It never used to do that before.
Chrome Version 76.0.3809.25 (Official Build) beta (64-bit) works well in Incognito mode, and I have chosen the option to never allow Flash at all, as nothing I care about uses Flash anymore. Three cheers for Google.
I’ve seen a similar block on Washington Post claiming I’m in private mode but I’m not. FF ESR 60. My woolyss chromium v.67 shows the same block, not in private mode either.
Both browsers have many privacy settings turned on; third party cookies are enabled.
Wonder what that site is detecting as private? Hmmm…
intelligent improvements are welcome.
How is Incognito detection still working on https://www.deviceinfo.me ?
Someone found a workaround, I read about it this weekend but cannot find the article anymore.
Version 76.0.3809.87 (Official Build) (64-bit) still able to detect private mode from Washington Post.
Clearly, this feature was not implemented after all. Incognito mode is still being detected on all paywall sites.
It was implemented but there are workarounds to still detect the mode.
The anti-blocking worked for a couple of weeks. No more. Getting the “private mode detected” message again.
This isn’t true. I’m on Version 77.0.3865.75 and nytimes.com is detecting incognito mode and blocking their article.