tech

Google temporarily rolls back Chrome feature that blocks cross-site tracking

The company wants to ensure this feature does not break essential services’ websites in the middle of the pandemic

To ensure essential websites do not crash at this point in time, Google is temporarily rolling back one of the features it launched with Chrome 80 last year.
To ensure essential websites do not crash at this point in time, Google is temporarily rolling back one of the features it launched with Chrome 80 last year. (Google Chrome)

To ensure essential websites do not crash at this point in time, Google is temporarily rolling back one of the features it launched with Chrome 80 last year. With Chrome 80, Google brought in a new cookie classification that was designed to block cross-site tracking on the browser. The aim was to prevent bad actors from exploiting cookie vulnerabilities.

This feature required developers to indicate their website cookies' SameSite attribute. The SameSite attribute dictates how the small files a browser saves should behave. If developers do not indicate this, Google will automatically switch that attribute to a secure option that will prevent cookies from tracking users across sites.

This change, however, can break services and products that need cross-site tracking to work.

While Google says that most developers are prepared for the change since the feature was first revealed in mid-2019, they still will be rolling back its enforcement for now. Google does not want essential services websites like online groceries, banking, healthcare and other government services' sites to crash and be non-accessible at this point in time.

Google will be announcing when it plans to resume the feature and enforcement soon.