The European Union has laid out new rules that would limit how companies like Facebook and Google track users to deliver targeted ads, it was announced Tuesday.

The rulings could decrease revenue for companies and internet sites’ that make much of their money on online advertising. The EU says the new rules will help users protect their privacy online and provide more transparency from companies.

The EU would let users have more power over cookies, which track a person’s online activity.

The drafted rule on cookies states :

“The new rules will not prohibit advertising, or the possibility for websites to use cookies or other technologies for tracking user behaviour. At the same time, the proposal empowers users to make an informed choice concerning the acceptance of these practices. Transparency is important. People must know whether information stored in their devices is being accessed or whether their online behaviour is tracked.”

The EU proposal does not regulate the use of ad blockers, will not prohibit advertising or the possibility for websites to use cookies or other technologies for tracking user behavior. However, individuals will be given more control over what they can share. Under the new proposal, users will able to install software on their gadgets that disables the display of ads.

The EU states :

“At the same time, the Commission is aware that 'free' content on the internet is often funded by advertisement revenue. Therefore, the proposal allows website providers to check if the end-user's device is able to receive their content, including advertisement, without obtaining the end-user's consent. If a website provider notes that not all content can be received by the end-user, it is up to the website provider to respond appropriately, for example by asking end-users if they use an ad-blocker and would be willing to switch it off for the respective website.  

Two-thirds of Europeans say they are concerned about not having total control over the data they provide online, the EU says. Meanwhile, seven out of 10 Europeans worry about the potential use that companies may make of the information disclosed.

The EU expects the proposal to be adopted by May 2018.