Google Chrome’s Private Mode

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Google’s new browser, Chrome, is making a splash on the Web scene. People are touting its greatness or calling it just another “anti-Microsoft move” from Google. In either case, the browser is getting used and one of it’s primary selling points (as it were) is it’s “privacy” mode, which Google calls “Incognito” and delineates with a trench coat-wearing private eye icon.

Chrome uses process segregation between each tab in its interface, much like IE8 and Firefox do, in order to separate one tab from another. This keeps a the site in one tab from “seeing” other tabs and also holds the browser in place should one of the tabs fail due to site problems or maliciousness. Taking this a step further, Chrome also isolates plug-ins like Flash to further bulwark security.

Chrome’s Incognito mode, however, works much the same way IE8’s InPrivate feature, allowing a near traceless traipse around the Web. An advantage that Chrome has is the ability to turn this feature on and off in each tab, which means you can use one or two tabs to surf Incognito while others are surfing publicly. Because the tabs are separate instances of the browser, none of them interfere with one another. This is a great (and obvious) step forward in privacy coverage for Web browsing.

A big concern for Chrome users, however, is the browser’s overall privacy. While Chrome’s designers have said that the JavaScript renderer is in a virtual machine with no access to the rest of your system, nothing is said about the browser itself. Each copy of Chrome has an identifying “serial number” that is used in all data collection (notably for technical service or error reporting), which is very much like Microsoft’s approach with Windows XP. The difference is that while MS took a lot of heat for this, Google is getting relatively little.

In the end, privacy is still the user’s concern and can’t be expected to be covered by the major browser creators. Individual apps and safe practices still rule the day when you want to surf Incognito.

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3 Comments
  1. film fan

    September 16, 2008 at 7:10 am

    i keep learning about more and more little advantages and features with Chrome, with privacy, for example; now if only they would take care of it's cookie management glitches…

  2. Private Myspace

    July 14, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    This is the only working Myspace private profile viewer that will actually display a private profile. Many others have claimed they can, but they don't have the required software to actually operate a private Myspace profile viewer.

  3. Private Myspace

    July 14, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    This is the only working Myspace private profile viewer that will actually display a private profile. Many others have claimed they can, but they don't have the required software to actually operate a private Myspace profile viewer.

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