Incognito mode soon earns its name again

The incognito mode, which is now available on many browsers, is a great thing. It is often referred to as a porn mode, as it is used to browse websites without being recognized. But there are many more uses for incognito mode. But what only a few people know is, you cannot remain completely unrecognized in this mode and it can be seen when the mode is used by the user. This is exactly what Google wants to prevent and will therefore issue an update with the next version of Chrome, which means when that you are in incognito mode you cannot be recognised.

There are many application examples where incognito mode makes sense. For example, if you want to call up a website that you are logged in to quickly, without actually having to be logged in is a good incognito feature. This mode is also commonly used so it cannot be tracked by the shops during online shopping to then later receive corresponding advertising everywhere. This is something more and more users find annoying, which is why they often use private mode and sometimes they even do it to gain benefits. For example, if you have a paywall that, let’s say, only allows a certain number of free videos, personal ads or the like can be viewed to some as a great benefit to have.

Of course, the developers also know that the paywall can be bypassed. So they tried to find out how incognito users can be recognized quickly and came across an older API, which they have misappropriated for their project. With a small JavaScript, when you enter the site, you can query if the FileSystem API is accessible. If it is not, this is a sure indication that the user is using incognito mode. And with this knowledge then an alternative content or the like for just these users can be played. It is therefore possible to set a limit for these users, who want to access everything for free.

However, this possibility will not exist soon, because in the new Chrome Beta the FileSystem API creates a virtual file system and thus pretends that the user is not in incognito mode. In the long term, the API will disappear completely from the browser. At Google, however, they are aware that this measure, doesn’t make providers of Paywalls very happy and they apologize in advance to them. Now it’s time for website developers to find more ways to recognize incognito users, even if they cannot handle paywalls and similar systems in the future.