Private browsing mode is a now a common option offered by web browsers so that users can surf the net without any record of the websites they visited being stored. But Microsoft seems to have missed the point of private browsing mode on its Edge browser. It would appear that Edge’s InPrivate browsing mode still keeps tracks of websites a user visits. Here’s what we know.
Google Chrome has Incognito mode, Mozilla Firefox has Private Browsing and Microsoft Edge has InPrivate mode. All of these are meant to be private browsing modes. But a researcher at Forensic Focus has found that Edge’s InPrivate mode isn’t exactly private. In fact, it is possible to reconstruct a user’s full browsing history in Edge by examining the WebCache file irrespective of whether they were surfing the web in private or regular mode.
This is what Forensic Focus researcher Ashish Singh had to say:
The forensic examination of most web browsers has proven that they don’t have a provision for storing the details of privately browsed web sessions. Private browsing is provided for a purpose, i.e. privately browsing the web, which is being delivered.
However, in the case of Microsoft Edge even the private browsing isn’t as private as it seems. Previous investigations of the browser have resulted in revealing that websites visited in private mode are also stored in the browser’s WebCache file.
According to a quote from Microsoft to The Verge, the vendor said it was aware of the issue with Edge’s InPrivate mode and are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
This is a huge blow for Microsoft as it looks to distance itself from the notorious Internet Explorer browser by encouraging users to adopt Edge instead.