Protect My Cookies From Misinformation Please

Walt Mossberg wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal yesterday attacking cookies and saying really nice things about the spyware software companies that remove them from your computer.

Well, every time I run his favorite spyware removal program, Webroot, it takes the Wall Street Journal’s cookie off of my computer.  I guess Walt doesn’t care, but I do.

I said this before and I’ll say it again.

I like cookies.  I like the fact that web services store my login information so I don’t have to remember it and type it in every time I visit a site.  I like the fact that web services store information on my preferences so Amazon can recommend new music to me and MyYahoo is configured the way I want it.  I even like getting more relevant advertising which is provided to me by watching my online behavior.

I don’t want Webroot or any other company touching MY cookies without my explicit permission and I want them to be liable to me and the companies that put the cookies there if they do touch them without my explicit permission.

I know Walt doesn’t like all of that.  He’s been a consistent and vocal critic of cookies.  But he doesnt’ speak for all of us.  And unfortunately a lot of less sophisticated web users read his column and think that cookies are bad. 

Wrong Walt.  Cookies are good.  Very good.

It’s the way that bad people use them that is the issue.

Mark Naples nails it in this column at Media Post this morning (registration required).

I wish that the debate over the use of cookies that is happening within the industry (a very good debate I might add) was being properly represented in the popular media.

But I guess that’s too much to ask of them.

Thank god for blogs.