With Google Chrome 80 update this February, Google started rolling out its ‘SameSite’ cookie classification system as a step to enhance the security and privacy of the web browser. The software giant is now temporarily rolling back the feature due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Google, most websites were prepared but it has to revert the change as a lot of government and healthcare websites might still be unaware of the new cookie implementation or might not have had the time to implement necessary changes, thereby breaking essential features.
“We are temporarily rolling back the enforcement of SameSite cookie labeling, starting today. While most of the web ecosystem was prepared for this change, we want to ensure stability for websites providing essential services including banking, online groceries, government services and healthcare that facilitate our daily life during this time.”, wrote the company on a blog post.
For the uninitiated, SameSite cookie classification system restricts cookie access to first-party by default (sameSite=Lax) unless explicitly marked for third-party usage (SameSite+None; Secure). If you’re interested, take a look at the video below to learn more about SameSite Cookies.
Google will start reinforcing SameSite Cookies later in summer although a date is not decided so far. This time around, Google says, it will provide advance notice on its blog before it resumes enforcement.
The company also had to pause its updates for Chrome OS and Chrome browser previously due to the pandemic. Google, however, has managed to resume updates with an adjusted schedule now.