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Masking in Cobrowse Advanced Mode is unexpectedly blocking all content
Answer ID 8093   |   Last Review Date 07/23/2019

Why does the end user's entire screen appear masked in Advanced Cobrowse Mode?


All supported Cobrowse versions, Standalone Cobrowse


When a Cobrowse deployment is configured to utilize masking, specific applications, websites and even fields on a form can be "masked for privacy" so an agent cannot view the content:

Where un-masked shows the user browsing their windows folders, masking shows the agent a plain gray screen. This protects the customer's privacy.

Application masking controls the visibility of specific desktop applications in Advanced Cobrowse mode. Application masking is defined in the Cobrowse configuration files (see: Creating Configuration Files for Privacy and Security and Masking and blocking configuration variable summary). To accurately implement application masking, process names are used to identify the applications that should be visible.

For example, the following .xml is an example of an application masking configuration allowing Turbotax and Quickbooks applications to be visible during a session.

<siteCode id="<SITE_ID>" currentState="Active">
<module id="LTB" scope="SITE">
<param id="ltb_apps">
<value text="QBW32" title="" seqId="0" />
<value text="quickset" title="" seqId="0" />
<value text="qw" title="" seqId="0" />
<value text="Turbotax" title="" seqId="0" />

In the example above, all applications except for Turbotax and Quickbooks will be masked for privacy during a Cobrowse interaction.

Because all other applications are masked for privacy, there may be occasions when an application is running on the end user's machine that causes the entire screen to be masked for privacy, even though the configuration is set to allow agents to view things like browser windows and other specific applications. This happens when an application is running on the end user's computer as an overlay to the entire screen. For example, screen recording software, like Jing, or screen sharing software like Webex or Skype screen sharing, will create a transparent overlay across the entire screen, sometimes even when the program is not being actively used (Jing). This transparent overlay will be detected by the Oracle Cobrowse software as content that should be masked, and the "masked for privacy" box will be applied to the entire screen.

This often happens during internal pilot and testing phases, when screen capturing of the end-to-end Cobrowsing interaction is desired for testing and documentation. In these scenarios, it is important to understand that the product is functioning as designed. To prevent this undesired screen masking, you can:

  1. White list your screen recording applications or other applications that appear to be causing a screen overlay that triggers Cobrowse masking
  2. Temporarily disable the applications that appear to be causing a screen overlay that triggers Cobrowse masking
  3. Ensure screen recording applications are only active on the agent side of the interaction during testing

See Also:  Answer ID 8757: Documentation for Oracle Cobrowse