In recent years many internet users have started to care more about privacy and the way in which big companies tend to use their data for a variety of purposes. Many browsers, including Google Chrome, have introduced a private or incognito mode that allows users to browse the internet without leaving traces that can be used for targeted marketing or other activities.
However, many website owners have been displeased by the feature since many opt to use the incognito mode in an attempt to bypass paywall or dodge the mechanics that are used to monitor traffic and generate additional revenue.
Blocking the blockers
An an answer to the use of incognito mode on Chrome, many website owners have resorted to using special scripts that can detect if the mode is active and block access to the content unless the user switches to a regular window.
This practice was targeted by Google with the release of the Chrome 76 update in 2019, which blocked websites from running a FileSystem API check that could be used to verify if the website was accessed normally, or via incognito mode.
A temporary solution
While the change implemented by Google seemed to be effective at first, this was far from being the case. The FileSystem API check wasn’t fully activated as Google imposed a limit on the amount of storage space that could be accessed by incognito mode windows.
In less than a week, new scripts were available on the market and were adopted by many publishers of online content. Google promised to release a new patch that would address the problem at some point in the future, but almost ten months have passed with no change in sight. These scripts are also functional in the case of other Chromium-based browsers, including Opera, Edge, Brave or Vivaldi