The Internet giant says it is about respecting the very purpose of incognito mode: privacy. While people use private surfing to avoid site paywalls, there can be far more serious reasons to stay anonymous. They may try to avoid, for example, an abusive partner or political repression. Google suggested that publishers do not react too quickly to the Chrome switch and instead consider either "more generous" free-view permissions or require a free registration for all content, not just under specific terms or conditions.
This step may appeal to those affected that private browsing modes are losing value. However, it is likely that some publishers are going in the wrong direction. Outlets like the New York Times (which we have asked for comment) have recognized incognito mode to identify readership, motivate subscribers, or both. It is unlikely that you will accept Google's changes without a fight, even if the damage is limited.