What you need to know
- Chrome 79 has paused its rollout after a bug that caused users to lose data in third-party apps.
- It's possible third-party apps that used Chrome to display webpages could have signed you out or lost your data.
- The Chromium team is aware of the issue and is weighing options on how to best fix it.
Did one of your apps randomly log you out or lose your data recently? If so, you could be the victim of a bug present in Chrome 79 which causes data to be lost. The reason this could be affecting an app outside of Chrome itself is that many developers rely on the Chrome engine to display websites or to log you into your account.
In fact, many apps may be nothing more than a website dressed up as an application. That generally doesn't cause an issue, until an update with a bug that forgets to migrate your data rolls out, as it did with Chrome 79. Thankfully, this bug has already been addressed on Chromium bug tracker page with the developers pausing the rollout at 50% and weighing two different options to fix the issue.
We are currently discussing the correct strategy for resolving this issue which will be one of:
a) continue the migration, moving the missed files into their new locations. b) revert the change by moving migrated files to their old locations.
We will let you know which of these two options have been chosen soon. In the meantime, it would be good to collect a list of affected packages, and details of whether any mitigations have been released to users, and in what versions so that we can test that the respin doesn't interact badly with the mitigation.
Finally: are you aware that you can test with beta versions of webview? This change was made in beta 6 weeks ago, and had the issue been picked up at that point we would have been able to address it before it significantly impacted users.
Unfortunately for end-users, if you were one of the unlucky ones to be affected by this bug, it would have made your app appear like it lost all of your data. That means it would be similar to the first time you installed the app, like starting with a fresh slate. It's also been a huge headache for developers, which have seen an increase in complaints and bad reviews on their apps for a bug they had nothing to do with.
Hopefully, the Chromium team figures out a solution soon and begins rolling out an update that can restore the data for all affected users.