Created attachment 791385 [details] wrong_private_indicator.png User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/5.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; InfoPath.3; .NET4.0C; .NET4.0E) Steps to reproduce: Change Firefox shortcut to call: "firefox.exe -private" and executed the new shortcut. Actual results: A Firefox window opened with the words "Private Browsing" in the tab, but the Firefox button remains orange. Expected results: A Firefox window opened with the words "Private Browsing" in the tab and the Firefox button is Purple indicating Private Browsing.
Furthermore, when you press Ctrl-Shift-P in this supposedly "Private Browsing Window", the new windows do not show ANY indication of Private Browsing. A few versions ago (pre-20 I believe), there's a concept of Private Browsing "mode" where all normal windows are hidden during Private Browsing session so you can't open a normal window without resorting to a separate Firefox profile. The "-private" flag back then was used to start Firefox in a PERMANENT private browsing mode (bug 649878 Comment 2) where it hides ALL indications of Private Browsing to allow for "discreet private browsing". This might make sense if there are no way to mix Private Browsing windows with normal windows, i.e. you're either in Private Browsing or not. However, recent versions abandoned the Private Browsing "mode/session" for a Private Browsing "window" where the windows themselves determine the mode of browsing (bug 866407 Comment 9). This new design allows for a mix of Private Browsing windows and normal windows to coexist within the same session. In this case, "permanent private browsing mode" no longer makes sense and will truly cause confusion if both normal windows and Private Browsing windows look the same. Personally, I consider "discreet private browsing" to be a bad design due to situations where someone (or Firefox) could revert the shortcut to remove the "-private" flag and the users would not be able to know that they're no longer in Private Browsing, which will cause a false sense of security - major privacy/security flaw!
This is by design. -private puts Firefox into permanent private browsing mode.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 5 years ago
Resolution: --- → INVALID
1) There's no such thing as permanent "private browsing mode" anymore. (see above comment, or bug 866407 Comment 9) - i.e. the design is flawed due to the new behavior. 2) Even if that's the case, how does one open a Private Browsing WINDOW using command line? Do I have to put in a feature request?
(In reply to comment #3) > 1) There's no such thing as permanent "private browsing mode" anymore. (see > above comment, or bug 866407 Comment 9) - i.e. the design is flawed due to the > new behavior. Permanent private browsing is still supported. > 2) Even if that's the case, how does one open a Private Browsing WINDOW using > command line? Do I have to put in a feature request? Doesn't -private-window work?
(In reply to comment #4) > Permanent private browsing is still supported. Got it. Just realized that the "-private" flag is equivalent to setting "Never remember history" in the options such that ALL new windows will be in "private mode" regardless of how they are started. Though I didn't find it mentioned in the documentation. > Doesn't -private-window work? Sure does, thanks - problem solved :) Just didn't see it listed in https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Command_Line_Options
(In reply to comment #5) > (In reply to comment #4) > > > Permanent private browsing is still supported. > > Got it. Just realized that the "-private" flag is equivalent to setting "Never > remember history" in the options such that ALL new windows will be in "private > mode" regardless of how they are started. Though I didn't find it mentioned in > the documentation. Yes, sorry, the choice of naming here is... well, poor, shall we say? :-) That is my fault, I suck at naming things! > > Doesn't -private-window work? > > Sure does, thanks - problem solved :) Yay! > Just didn't see it listed in > https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Command_Line_Options Boy, that page is dated! I fixed it. Please take a look and see if it's any better now. Thanks!
Why is this closed as by-design? When in permanent-private browsing mode, Firefox operates quite differently than non-private mode, and it can be very hard for people to understand why something isn't working without these reminders. For example, Social is permanaently disabled in pb-mode, as well as things like history not being remembered. We should continue to display the PB icon even if the browser is in permanent private browsing mode.
Status: RESOLVED → REOPENED
Ever confirmed: true
OS: Windows 7 → All
Hardware: x86_64 → All
Resolution: INVALID → ---
Summary: Incorrect Private Browsing indicator when starting from command line → Private Browsing indicator missing when starting from command line or in permanent private-browsing mode
People who are concerned about the pb icon being annoying/ever-present could install an add-on that removes the pb icon.
Status: REOPENED → NEW
Summary: Private Browsing indicator missing when starting from command line or in permanent private-browsing mode → Private Browsing indicator missing when starting from command line or in "Never remember history" mode
So the reasoning explained to me today is that we shouldn't show the Private Browsing badging because to enter this mode, the user never clicks on anything that says "Private Browsing". So they may be confused as to why there is a PB badge but they had simply chose to "never remember history". To add to this, there is some behaviors that are different between the two modes. From Gijs, "e.g. close multiple tab warnings happen for never remember history, but not for private windows in an otherwise history-enabled browser".
I just ran into this bug when trying to debug an add-on which doesn't run in private browsing mode. Users running on machines where the Windows shortcut had /private set won't run some add-ons, which confused one of my add-on users. If you launch firefox with /private set, Firefox starts with all pages in invisible private browsing mode. But if you use Tools->Troubleshooting->Reset Firefox, Firefox restarts with all pages in normal non-private browsing mode. This led to a lot of wasted debugging time looking for profile corruption. I'd suggest always displaying the private browsing icon in private browsing mode. The documentation says "Tip: Private Browsing windows have a purple mask at the top." No exceptions to that rule are documented. If the present behavior is retained, that's a documentation bug. This is easier to fix than to document properly.  https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/private-browsing-use-firefox-without-history
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 5 years ago → a year ago
Resolution: --- → DUPLICATE
Duplicate of bug: 701246
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