Saturday, March 14, 2009
Warning! Google Chrome incognito mode NOT incognito at all when streaming .WMV .avi and .wma media files. Privacy security failure.
Polybore Update: Easy way to view Chrome Incognito History. http://www.polybore.co.uk/2012/04/easy-and-free-way-to-view-chrome.html
To run Google Chrome in incognito mode click on the spanner/ wrench at the top right and select- new incognito window.
However it is worth bearing in mind that there is a big privacy hole in Chrome’s Incognito mode and it effects Firefox as well.
Give it a try, launch Chrome in “Incognito mode” and stream this tiny and inoffensive Polybore .wmv file. Now check your Internet Explorer browsing history.
Try it with Firefox. Same behaviour again. Even if you never use IE it will keep a history of .avi and wmv files streamed with Chrome or Firefox. If you regularly delete your Firefox history or use Chrome “Incognito”, you are going to have to open up IE and clear it out as well.
This makes a complete nonsense of Google’s description of “Incognito”. http://www.google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?answer=95464&cbid=1klgcnze2ws2b&src=cb&lev=topic
The full story:
At the insert hyperlink menu Polybore was surprised to find that Word had, in the recent browsing history, links to the files that had been streamed with Chrome in the so called Incognito mode. Very strange thought Polybore, Word2003 is aware of what Chrome has been streaming “Incognito”?
On further investigation, sure enough, there in Internet Explorer 8’s browsing history were the links to the files streamed in “Incognito Mode” by Chrome.
The only reference Polybore could find to this behaviour after a Google search was this http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Chrome/thread?tid=32adfc97fa78b7d8&hl=en
Having read that, we can say this happens with Google Chrome and Firefox with IE7 and IE8.
Google and Firefox need to flag this behaviour up to users or stop it entirely. Indeed Chrome’s Incognito mode just does not do what Google says it does and that is seriously misleading. Get it sorted Google.
In the mean time if you are using Chrome or Firefox to stream .avi or .wmv, and privacy is important to you, make sure you delete Internet Explorers history as well.
Further to continued testing can report that this also happens with streamed .wma music as well. So essentially if Chrome or Firefox uses Windows Media Player to stream media then Internet Explorer history will reflect this, Incognito or not.