Google Fails to Keep Chrome for iOS Incognito Mode Searches Private

google-chrome-logoA glitch has been found in Google’s Chrome app for iOS 7, which sees the browser’s incognito mode failing to keep users’ searches private.

UK development and design firm Parallax spotted the flaw in the latest version of the Chrome app that Google has updated to add support for Apple’s iOS 7 mobile operating system and, perhaps ironically, a number of security improvements.

The Parallax team has discovered that incognito mode in Chrome for iOS 7, Google’s ‘private browsing’ option, no longer keeps tabs or searches a secret. For example, if searching using the address bar with incognito mode switched on and then return to a normal tab, Google’s mobile website will display history from the so-called private mode.

“It appears that incognito mode in the iOS 7 version of Google Chrome is broken,” Parallax project manager Tom Feller said in a blog post. “Searches completed in incognito windows in the updated Google Chrome app are shared with the regular browser. This is especially important as Google Chrome has a unified search and URL bar, meaning that people often search rather than typing full URLs.”

Google is aware of the issue, and has actually reported it within this support page:

On Chrome for iOS, due to platform limitation regular and incognito* tabs share HTML5 local storage, which is typically used by sites to store files on your device (client-side caching) or to provide offline functionality. This means the same sites can always access their data in this storage in both regular and incognito* tabs. Incognito* tabs will still keep browsing history and cookies separate from regular tabs, which are cleared once those tabs are closed.

Parallax has released a video of the glitch in action, which you can view below.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

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