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Will Google’s updates in Chrome 80 affect my content tracks?

Overview

You may have heard that in February 2020 Google will be making some changes to how Chrome handles cookies. If this has you wondering how the release of Chrome 80 will affect your PathFactory content tracks, have no fear: Long story short, Google’s upcoming release will not impact your content tracks.

Want to know the full, “long story”? Keep reading for more information on what exactly Google is changing, and how the PathFactory team has addressed these changes.


What is changing?

With the release of Chrome 80 in February 2020, Google will begin enforcing the classification of cross-domain cookies (ie. 3rd party cookies). Previously, there was no default setting for 3rd party cookies; this new Chrome release will force all cross-domain cookies without a SameSite attribute to have SameSite=Lax by default, and force them to be secure.
This means that after this release Chrome will reject all 3rd party cookies without SameSite attributes and which are not secure.

What does this mean for PathFactory customers?

Pathfactory’s development team has researched the implications of how these changes will impact cookie behaviour in our platform. We can confirm that since we only use first-party cookies on our content tracks and website experiences, there should be no impact to cookie behaviour.
However, if you are using a platform that uses 3rd party cookies on a content track (which some MAPs do), then you must ensure those cookies have a Samesite attribute, otherwise the content tracks may not perform as expected.

How can I know if the 3rd party cookies from our other platforms are compliant?

You are able to check the attributes of your 3rd party cookies by accessing Developer Tools in your Chrome browser.

  1. Using Chrome (version 77 or newer), open up a new Incognito browser window.
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  2. Select More Tools and then Developer Tools.
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  3. Check in the Console tab for warnings that a page contains cross-site (third party) cookies without the 'SameSite' attribute.
    image

    Note
    Warnings in this section will look like the following:
    image
  4. If you don’t see a warning, that means all associated 3rd party cookies are in compliance with Chrome’s new standard.

  5. If you do see the URL from a vendor in the console warning, that means the 3rd party cookie provided from that platform will be blocked in Chrome 80. We recommend following up with that vendor to ensure their readiness for this upcoming change.

    Note
    Some platforms, like Pardot, drop a 1st party cookie and a 3rd party cookie for redundancy, while others, like Eloqua, require a different implementation for 1st party cookies. If you have integrated Eloqua into PathFactory, please ensure you have enabled 1st party cookies in Eloqua in order to prevent your integration from being interrupted. You can read this Eloqua article for more information.

Updated on June 28, 2022

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