All the major browsers have some sort of “privacy” mode that is suppose to let you browse the web without leaving, or collecting, personally identifying information.
With Google Chrome its called Incognito Mode but it it seems that it is far from being incognito according to Randy Abrams at the ESET security blog. Apparently he decided to test out Chrome’s Incognito Mode only to find out that upon going to a site he had never been to before Facebook was there to greet him.
I have previously blogged here and here about Facebook’s instant personalization, but let me spell it out for you.Facebook “Instant Personalization” destroys Google Chrome’s “Incognito mode”. There is nothing incognito about opening a clean browser with no cookies and going to a website you have never visited before and being called by name with your picture on the web page. Facebook and “Instant Personalization” partner sites deliberately ignores your obvious and explicit instructions NOT to track you.
And apparently it isn’t just Chrome that is getting sidestepped this way as Abrams pointed out in the post:
It is mind-boggling that Microsoft’s Bing ran an end game around the Microsoft Internet Explorer team by also defeating IE9’s “InPrivate Browsing” and poor Mozilla was caught in the crossfire as Microsoft and Facebook sneak around Firefox’s Private browsing feature as well. Apple’s Safari browser’s privacy mode was also hunted down and shot.
Welcome to the “socialization” of the web where your privacy obviously means nothing.
image courtesy of ESET