Chrome allows hiding “sensitive” tabs in Incognito mode behind your fingerprint

Google’s Chrome browser is the world’s most popular browser on both desktop and mobile, and it’s getting new capabilities to keep user data secure. On Android, those using Incognito mode, which hides certain user details and doesn’t keep track of activity history, will be able to use biometric authentication to hide open tabs.

Google is rolling out a feature to Android that was already available on Chrome for iOS

Incognito mode is useful for those who share computers with other users or other devices, but if you leave pages open in this mode, anyone using the device after you can open them, no problem. Google has announced, however, that it will implement on the mobile version the ability to further protect privacy in Incognito mode by allowing you to block access to open pages by fingerprint. Presumably smartphones that integrate advanced facial recognition, such as the Pixel 4, will be able to use that security method instead of fingerprint.

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This feature was already available on iOS’s Google Chrome browser, allowing Incognito tabs to be hidden behind Touch ID authentication on older devices and Face ID on post-iPhone X devices.

Authentication is only enabled, however, if you leave the Chrome app, as it is on WhatsApp. If you just move from one tab to another, or between normal and Incognito mode, the browser won’t ask for your fingerprint every time you move. However, if you exit the browser to check another app and then return to it, you’ll have to sign in to see the Incognito tabs.

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In addition to this feature, Google is announcing the addition of a new feature in Chrome’s Security Check area that allows users to better customize their online security. You can now quickly edit the permissions given to various sites accessed from Chrome directly from the browser and see an overview of all permissions already active.

These updates were released for World Privacy Day, which takes place tomorrow, 28 January.

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