On January 10, the executive arm of the European Union (EU) proposed rules to limit how companies track users in their efforts to deliver targeted ads. As reported in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, the proposed rules would require users to actively consent to the use of tracking cookies.
The European Commission said the rules would protect user privacy and enhance transparency on how an individual's data is used. According to the EU, such regulations would have wide support; the EU claims 80% of Europeans say it's important that such cookies are employed only with the user's permission.
"Transparency is important. People must know whether information stored in their devices is being accessed or whether their online behavior is tracked," the European Commission said in a press release.
If enacted, the rules would give users the right to allow or reject the tracking cookies when they are installing a browser. Users could change their choice at any time. Anyone who rejects the tracking would continue to see the online ads, but they likely would not be personalized.