For years, it was possible for web developers to use a simple trick to detect whether someone was browsing from Chrome’s Incognito Mode. As of Chrome version 76, Google has made this detection method cease to function, providing better anonymity to Incognito Mode. Before Chrome 76 could even release, however, a security researcher has discovered another way to reliably detect Incognito Mode.
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Google patent could mean private browsing will be switched on automatically
A Google patent could mean that you never again have to remember to switch to incognito mode when searching for presents for your wife (other uses for incognito mode are available). The patent was applied for in 2011 and granted this week.
The patent describes a method by which your browser (presumably Chrome) can work out whether privacy is required “based on the plurality of identifiers.” A diagram in the patent application shows that the browser would analyze the URL, metadata and page content in order to determine whether incognito mode may be appropriate.
The sole example given curiously doesn’t mention browsing online stores for gifts.
Metadata that identifies adult content may automatically trigger that webpage [to] be opened in the privacy mode.