Web-Tracking ‘Cookies’ Meant to Protect Privacy: Inventor


California-based engineer and entrepreneur Lou Montulli said the original “cookie” he created decades ago was intended to make life online easier by letting websites remember visitors.

Yet the technology has become a lightning rod, attacked for helping tech companies collect data on consumers’ habits key to the targeted web ad business that makes many billions of dollars per year.

“My invention is at the technological heart of many of the advertising schemes, but it was not intended to be so,” said Montulli, who created them in 1994 while an engineer at Netscape.

“It is simply a core technology to enable the web to function,” he said.