Google Chrome SameSite labelling changes

The SameSite attribute tells browsers when and how to fire cookies in first and third-party scenarios. The SameSite attribute can have one of three values: strict, lax, or none. Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, and Opera have supported strict and lax since November 2017, while none was introduced in 2018. However, some older browsers do not support this setting.

In February 2020, Google released Chrome 80 and changed the default setting from none to lax when a cookie does not have a specified SameSite attribute value. This setting prevents a cookie from being used in a third-party context, also known as “cross-site”. Any ensuing third-party cookies must be set to SameSite=none and be labelled as secure.

Cookies without a specified SameSite attribute value will default to lax.

Visit the cookie standard document for more information on SameSite attributes.

SameSite attribute values

SameSite attribute value Descriptions
strict Cookies with this setting are only sent when both the referring page and the landing page are part of the same domain as the cookie.
lax Cookies with this setting are only sent when the domain displayed in the URL of the browser matches the domain of the cookie. This is the new default for cookies in Chrome.
none Cookies with this setting are available for external or third-party access, such as “cross-site.” Prior to this change, none was the default SameSite setting for cookies, so using this setting makes a cookie behave most similarly to how it has traditionally worked. However, Google is requiring that any cookie with this setting now specify the secure flag, which means the cookie will only be created and sent with requests over HTTPS. All cross-site cookies without the secure flag will be rejected by Google.

What you need to know as an Adobe Experience Cloud customer

No JavaScript updates required

Adobe products have already released server-side updates to set third-party cookies with the appropriate attributes. No JavaScript library updates are needed by our customers.

Ensure third-party endpoints are using HTTPS

All customers should confirm that their JavaScript configuration is using HTTPS for their calls to Adobe services. Target, Audience Manager, and the Experience Cloud Identity Service (ECID) are redirecting third-party HTTP calls to their respective HTTPS endpoints, which can increase latency. This means you are not required to change your configuration. Analytics customers should update their implementations to exclusively use HTTPS, as redirects specific to Analytics can cause data loss.

Correctly labeled cookies should collect data as intended

As long as cookies are correctly labelled, browsers will not take any action to block them. Consumers will have the option to block certain types of cookies, but currently, this appears to be an opt-in setting only.

Existing third-party cookies without the updated labels will be ignored

Third-party cookies that were created before Chrome 80 started enforcing the SameSite=none and secure flags settings will be ignored by Chrome 80 if these flags are not present.

Many of the existing Adobe third-party cookies do not have these flags and will need to be updated by Edge servers before users upgrade to Chrome 80 or those cookies will be lost. The Edge servers update happens automatically as users visit any website where the cookie is used.

Most Adobe products already have the appropriate flags assigned to cookies. The exception are Analytics implementations that use third-party data collection and do not use ECID. Customers may experience a small, temporary increase in new visitors that otherwise would have been returning visitors.

Possible cookie match decrease for destination and marketplace partners (Audience Manager only)

While Adobe has control over updating its cookies, Adobe can’t force partners to make necessary changes. Cookie matching may decrease for Audience Manager customers using destination partners or marketplace partners that have not made these updates.

Analytics Friendly third-party Cookies (Analytics s_vi cookies only)

Some Analytics implementations use an Analytics CNAME alias to enable creating the s_vi cookie in the domain of that CNAME. If the CNAME is in the same domain as your website, this will be designated as a first-party cookie. However, if you own multiple domains and use the same CNAME for data collection across all your domains, then it will be designated as a third-party cookie on those other domains.

With lax becoming the new default SameSite setting in Chrome, the CNAME is no longer visible on other domains.

To accommodate the change, Analytics is now explicitly setting the SameSite value of s_vi cookie to lax. To use this cookie in a friendly, third-party context, set the SameSite value to none, which also means you must always use HTTPS. Please contact Customer Care to have the SameSite value changed for your secure CNAMEs.

IMPORTANT

This action is not required for Analytics customers using ECID, customers using a separate CNAME for each of their domains, or customers using only third-party Analytics data collection.

Adobe Standard Visitor Cookies

Only the common visitor standard cookies are listed in the table below. For additional cookie configurations, see product-specific documentation or contact your Adobe representative.

ECID

Cookie Type SameSite attribute Secure attribute
AMCV_###@AdobeOrg Client-side first-party No-value added *Chrome defaults to lax setting Configurable
AMCVS_###@AdobeOrg Client-side first-party No-value added *Chrome defaults to lax setting Configurable
s_ecid Server-side first-party SameSite==lax Not set

Audience Manager

Cookie Type SameSite attribute Secure attribute
Demdex Third-party none Set to secure
Dextp Third-party none Set to secure

Analytics

Cookie Type SameSite attribute Secure attribute
s_vi
  • Server-side first-party if using CNAME
  • Third-party if using 2o7.net or omtrdc.net
  • lax if first-party
  • none if third party
Customers can edit setting via Customer Care ticket for first-party domains
Set, if using none and HTTPS request
s_fid Client-side first-party No value added *Chrome defaults to lax setting Not set

Target

Cookie Type SameSite attribute Secure attribute
mbox First-party No-value added *Chrome defaults to lax setting Not set

Ad Cloud

Cookie Type SameSite attribute Secure attribute
everest_g_v2 Third-party none Only on Google Chrome and Chromium-based browsers Set, if using none and HTTPS request
data_adcloud First-party No-value added *Chrome defaults to lax setting Not set
ev_tm Third-party none Only on Google Chrome and Chromium-based browsers Set, if using none and HTTPS request

Bizible

Cookie Type SameSite attribute Secure attribute
_buid Third-party none Secure

Marketo Munchkin

Cookie Type SameSite attribute Secure attribute
_mkto_trk Client-side first-party No-value added *Chrome defaults to lax setting Configurable for external pages

![IMPORTANT] Adobe third-party cookies are set server-side

For more information, see the document on Target’s Google Chrome SameSite policies.

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