Incognito Mode Filesystem API Loophole Detection Being Fixed By Google So Websites Won’t Be Able To Identify Incognito Users

Some web browsers come with a built-in feature called incognito mode. Of course, most of you know what this feature is used for. For the ill-informed, incognito mode is a privacy feature that disables browser history and web cache. Websites these days aren’t really fond of incognito mode since so many of them use cookies to target users with relevant ads. This is why some websites tend to block viewership of their website while users are in incognito mode.

Websites know if a user is in incognito mode through a very simple trick. The website simply calls upon the  “FileSystem” API, which is present within Chrome’s default state. However, the API becomes disabled once a user goes into Incognito mode. This allows websites to simply identify if a user is on Incognito mode, and it defeats the purpose of Incognito mode itself since it leaves an enduring record.


Google has been aware of this loophole for a long time, but recently they have finally made an attempt to fix it. Recent commits to Chrome’s source code suggests that developers have taken an initiative to fix the problem and provide a real Incognito mode experience. Google will supposedly get rid of Filesystem API’s as a whole. For the time being, they have added a new flag “FileSystem API in Incognito” to Canary. You can turn it on so you don’t get tracked by sites while in incognito mode.

The flag is available for all platforms except for iOS. It is titled “FileSystem API in Incognito”. However, techdows claim that the feature is not yet functional at the moment.

This is undoubtedly a huge breakthrough in private browsing. As websites won’t be able to identify whether you are in Incognito mode, and a permanent trace will not be left within Chrome.

Murtaza Islam
Murtaza is a Computer Science student who takes immense interest in mobile technology. He believes the future of computing lies in smartphones because ARM architecture will eventually take over. He also loves to tinker with ROMs and kernels keeping up with the latest in smartphones.

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