Google Chrome for Android will start hiding media notifications in Incognito Mode
There’s a lot of expectations that go into Google Chrome’s incognito mode. Some people just assume that it hides and doesn’t store or track anything and everything that the person is doing while they’re using it. This type of feature is so popular that most web browsers these days have a similar feature. The thing is, each browser implements a different set of rules when running in their version of incognito mode. With Chrome for Android, media notifications were not hidden when using an incognito tab, but a new commit shows that will be changing in the future.
There’s been a lot of fuss over what Chrome’s incognito mode actually does. Late last year a researcher from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee claimed Google could link a person’s private browsing to the usernames and account information. However, the company came forward and said the claim “contains wildly misleading information.” Although, Chrome doesn’t keep everything a secret and that is why they chose to call it incognito mode instead of something like privacy mode.
When you open up a new incognito mode tab, you’re told exactly what it does and does not do.
Incognito mode prevents from saving:
- Your browsing history
- Cookies and site data
- Information entered in forms
But you should still know that your activity might still be visible to:
- Websites you visit
- Your employer or school
- Your internet service provider
Another interesting thing that Chrome for Android doesn’t do when using incognito mode is hiding user data in notifications. This means that say, for example, you are watching a video on your Android device and a media notification could show what you’re watching or listening to. We tested this with the mobile YouTube website where we opened up a video and began playing it in an incognito tab. Many would assume that whatever we were playing would be hidden from a notification but that simply isn’t the case.
Google is well aware of this issue and a new commit to the Chromium Gerrit shows this will be changing in the near future. This commit has been merged but it is currently only available in the Google Chrome Canary channel. This feature has yet to make its way into the Developer, Beta, or Stable channels but it’s something we expect to trickle down in future versions.