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Google inserts a gap in Chrome's incognito mode


Google said it will include the incognito in its Chrome Web browser history in a bid to better protect users' privacy.

Chrome's incognito mode allows users to access websites more privately than the normal browser, as it does not store data such as browsing history and cookies, and website information.

To do this, Google disables some background features, such as the File System API, which prevents the activity traces from remaining on the device.

However, websites may check the availability of the API for the file system, and if they receive an error message, they find that a person uses a history-incognito mode and gives them a different experience.

Publishers could use this to find out when people are trying to avoid paying.

(Yui Mok / PA)

Some news sites offer a limited number of free articles before they tell users that they have to subscribe, but people could try via Incognito to actually reset the number and access free articles for free.

The company said it would introduce a legal remedy for the gap by the end of July, but will endeavor to convince publishers of the impact.

This move will be seen as a blow to some of the news websites that have long been fighting for the monetization of online journalism.

Google claims that the change is necessary to protect people who are subject to political oppression or are subject to domestic abuse that may have important security grounds for disguising their online activity.

"We suggest that publishers monitor the effect of the change in the API in the file system before taking response measures, since any influence on user behavior can be different from what is expected, and any change in the meter strategy will affect all users, not just those using the mode without recording history, "they said in the company.

"Our news teams support websites with metric strategies and recognize the goal of reducing counter-avoidance, but any approach based on detecting private browsing undermines the principles of incognito mode."

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