Google Chrome Cookie Update: What is it and what does it mean?
Since May 2019, Google has been improving online privacy and security step by step. We have previously explored BERT and the benefits of HTTPS but what is the latest update?
Let’s cut down to the basics. What is a cookie?
With so much information floating around on the web explaining exactly what a cookie is, let’s go for the most basic explanation. A cookie is simply a file that is stored within your computer. This file contains information and coding from websites that you are visiting.
Many contrasting views exist about cookies, but the fact is that they do help deliver a faster web experience. When it comes to online shopping our shipping address is saved by cookies, as are our million and one passwords to all the websites we didn’t know that we even subscribed to. Cookies allow these websites to remember this information from a previous time when you entered your personal information. This required information is known due to enabling cookies. In English, this means you accept the cookies when you enter the website.
Cookies have played a huge role within the marketing industry. Why do you think that holiday to the Bahamas you once showed to your partner keeps popping up at the side of your web browser? Cookies help marketers to create those personalised ads.
So, what is Google’s new Chrome policy?
SameSite allows you to restrict your cookies to either a first-party or same-site context. Google is using SameSite to become more aggressive in its prevention of insecure data being shared across domains. Find out more about SameSite cookies here.
What is CSFR?
CSFR is an attack, whereby a malicious website will send a request to a web browser where authentication has already been provided, to access the victim’s previously authenticated web browser.
One of the aims of SameSite is to reduce the risk of a CSRF attack by preventing a web browser from sending a cookie with cross-site requests. The purpose of this is to reduce the risk of sensitive information being leaked across websites.
How will this affect me now?
Google have said that these changes in Chrome will “make third-party cookies more secure and give users more precise browser cookie controls. At the same time, we’re developing techniques to detect and mitigate covert tracking and workaround by launching new anti-fingerprinting measures to discourage these kinds of deceptive and intrusive techniques.” Google hopes that they will release these measures later in 2020.