Chrome iOS Bug Reveals that Incognito Mode Is Broken
A new bug in Google’s Chrome app for iOS has been discovered, and it’s a big one for privacy buffs. The bug deals with Incognito Mode, and it was discovered that any Google searches done in Incognito Mode would show up in search history when in a regular Chrome window from the Google home page.
This is bad news for those who perform secret Google searches from within Incognito Mode, only to find out that it shows up in your search history when you’re back into normal browsing. Of course, clearing your search history in settings will do the trick, but seeing as how Incognito Mode’s purpose is to not save browsing history, it’s kind of a bigger deal than you might expect.
The video below quickly demonstrates how the bug works, and while there’s no commentary, it specifically shows the user erasing all history at the start, entering Incognito Mode, entering in a search query, returning to normal browsing and then viewing search history on Google’s home page, where the search query performed in Incognito Mode shows up bright as day.
However, it’s important to note that the search history doesn’t appear in the top address bar; you’ll have to visit Google’s home page and tap in the search bar to see your search history. Still, this is quite a big problem, considering that Incognito Mode is supposed to not save any browsing activity whatsoever.
Luckily, you’re probably the only person that uses your mobile device, and the problem only seems to be occurring in iOS 7, but you may have an iPad that you share with other household members, so it could wind up being pretty embarrassing if your secret searches were found by other family members. We’re guessing that Google will fix the bug in its next update, but until then, make sure to delete search history in settings if you don’t want others knowing about them.
Alternatively, you can use another mobile web browser temporarily, such as Safari, where you’ll be able to still surf the web privately with its own private browsing feature. Chrome certainly has a lot more features if you’re deep into Google’s ecosystem, but if you want to spare yourself the embarrassment of others seeing your search history, giving up the app for a few days is a small price to pay.