A software update to Chrome will make websites unable to detect whether visitors are browsing the web in “incognito mode,” which may have repercussions for digital publishers.
Though some publishers could try to frame Chrome’s incognito mode as a tool that encourages copyright infringement, a publisher would have to successfully argue that Chrome, as a browser, is either marketed as a way to infringe on copyright, that Chrome has limited commercial use beyond copyright infringement or that it was designed expressly to enable copyright infringement, said BKC’s Kendra Albert.
“It’s quite difficult to imagine Chrome meeting any of the criteria required to bring an anti-trafficking claim,” Albert said. “I can understand why many news providers would find the change pretty obnoxious, but I think it’s consistent with what incognito mode is supposed to do.”
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