Google closes ‘incognito’ loophole, leaving publishers to rethink paywalls


The New York Times, The Washington Post and others will no longer be able to identify when a reader is in private-browsing mode

Google is closing a loophole that revealed when people were browsing in “incognito” mode, but the fix will leave some publishers defenseless against a certain breed of freeloading readers who can now jump their paywalls.

By the end of July, Google says it will patch the glitch in its Chrome web browser, which allowed websites to detect when a person was browsing incognito. “This will affect some publishers who have used the loophole to deter metered paywall circumvention,” said Barb Palser, Google’s partner development manager for news and web partnerships, in a blog post about the change.

While a small tweak, this latest move by Google is just another in a long line of updates that provide more anonymity to users but also impact the way publishers do business.

Read full article here.

Garett Sloane – Ad Age – July 19, 2019.

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