Due to the outbreak of the corona virus, Google will immediately reverse the recently added privacy feature regarding samesite cookies. This is to prevent that certain websites are suddenly no longer accessible to users.

At the beginning of this year, Google introduced the feature for a number of Chrome users in version 80 of the browser, with the intention to make samesite cookies available to every user throughout the year. With this feature, external domains would no longer be able to place cookies via an external website, so these parties would no longer be able to track users by placing cookies.

Privacy

Although the feature should improve the privacy of users (despite the fact that many parties affected by the measure switched to alternatives), there were important websites that also used third-party cookies. Government sites, banks and certain intranets could face problems if only samesite cookies were accepted.

Reversing the update affects only one percent of all Chrome users, but according to Google, it is a precaution to prevent those users from experiencing problems at the time of the corona virus.

In the near future, the feature will be reactivated by Google, with rollout resuming for all users sometime this summer.