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Ridiculous Trend: Web Sites That Bar Users From Using Private Mode

Recently I have noticed that more and more publications are blocking users who use private mode in their browsers. Instead, users are being requested to either sign up, login or turn off private mode browsing.

I use Firefox which defaults to private mode all the time. As such, I have been regularly shut out of reading what are otherwise public articles.

Some sites where I have encountered this are:

  • Chicago Tribune
  • Wired
  • Washington Post
  • Business Week
  • New York Times

Those are just the big names I remember right now. There’s a bunch of smaller ones who, not doubt, are taking their cues from the big boys.

Private mode prevents tracking. It doesn’t prevent a publication from serving up ads as long as they originate from the publication’s own website and not a scammy third party ad-service.

So, you have to wonder why these publications feel the need to track its users and record their activity…

If even big publications such as the New York Times will actively promote invasive user tracking, how is user privacy to be respected by any other corporate entity?

I find it ironic that these large publishers who scream bloody murder when the government tracks them have no problems forcing users to be tracked in order to read their articles. Hypocrisy much?

Shame on these sites for putting their desire to profit from mining user data above their users privacy.

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