The Canary version of Google Chrome has a hidden feature that can be enabled to finally protect media content playing in the browser. For example, suppose you’re watching a video on any platform in incognito mode. In that case, Chrome will no longer highlight the media content or its metadata in the media controls panel of any operating system.
This feature is called “Hide media metadata when in Incognito” and works at the operating system level. Windows Latest has found several references to the feature in Chromium Gerrit. Google aims to bring it to all operating systems where Chrome is available, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS.
When you turn on the feature on Windows, Chrome stops displaying information like titles, artists, artwork, and other specifics in Windows 10/11’s media control or lock screen while playing media during an Incognito session. As you can see in the screenshot below, Google has replaced the media title with a placeholder text, “A site is playing media”.
Previously, a notable privacy loophole existed where the video’s title and thumbnail would still appear on the lock screen or media controls while viewing a video in Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode.
According to Chromium Gerrit, this feature ensures that embedders can hide media metadata from the OS’s media controllers. Instead of the actual data, placeholder metadata “A site is playing media” will be displayed with an incognito icon.
Chrome’s latest privacy feature uses API and works in the Canary
This is possible thanks to the new MediaSessionClient API, which hides media metadata and fetches placeholder data. The integration involves intercepting calls made to the SystemMediaControls…
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