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From the release notes for Safari 5.1.4:

  • Allow cookies set during regular browsing to be available after using Private Browsing

What?

Doesn't that mean, to give an example, that if I go to Amazon in Private Browsing mode, Amazon will still know who I am, and all the things that I look at will appear as "recently visited" when I go to Amazon later (even on a completely different computer)?

If so, what good is Private Browsing mode?

Am I missing something here?


Note that secretly buying gifts as a surprise for loved ones is the "official" example often given for why one would want Private Browsing. Of course, If I actually buy them, I will have to tell Amazon about it, and it will enter my profile, but all the browsing before that could be hidden.

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    I don't know this to be true, so here's a comment rather than an answer, but: I interpret "after using Private Browsing mode" to mean that cookies set before will be available after, not during, Private Browsing - in other words, activating Private Browsing won't destroy an existing session, it'll just 'shelve' it while in Private mode. – Dan J Mar 15 '12 at 4:52
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There was a bug that prevented cookies set begore going into safe mode from working again after the safe period had ended.

Imagine a truck with four wheel drive and when you were done and switched back to two wheel mode. It would be a problem if the indicators said two wheel but four was still engaged.

This text you quoted indicates the getting out of safe mode was tweaked so more things work again post safe mode.

  • Okay, if that is the case, it's all good. Could be worded more clearly. Or even better, a link to an issue tracker. – Thilo Mar 15 '12 at 6:44
  • Set during x to be available after y is how I read it initially. Apple's bug system is notorious for not ever showing up in release notes. – bmike Mar 15 '12 at 8:01
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Yes and no; it's working as designed, which is not the way people typically expect it would work.

Most people think such browser features will make it impossible for users of the same computer to figure out which sites the browser has been used to visit, and make it impossible for sites to know whether or not a particular user has previously visited them. Researchers find they don't do that. They're usually good at the former and usually bad at the latter. This is all Apple promises when Private Browsing is Enabled : "Safari will keep your browsing history private for all tabs in this window. Safari won’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your Autofill information"

See also: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2619068?start=0&tstart=0

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