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Knowledgebase IAB IAB TCF 2.0IAB TCF 2.0


The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) created the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF) – for vendors and businesses that conduct targeted advertising to consumers. The IAB develops technical standards and best practices for targeted advertising. The IAB also works to educate agencies, brands, and businesses on the importance of digital advertising consent while standardizing how businesses run advertisements to comply with GDPR consent guidelines. Read this article to learn more about the new IAB TCF 2.0. 

Last Updated: September 27, 2021

01What is TCF 2.0?

The TCF 2.0 framework ensures compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Businesses that are included in the framework can be ad tech vendors, publishers, and agencies alike.

The TCF was originally a framework that allowed publishers to check whether consent was collected for ad targeting. In 2020, the latest TCF v2 is released and improves on parts of the first version that were lacking.

02Purposes of Processing

TCF 2.0 – the latest release, is completely revamped and greatly expands publishers’ bid stream options for collecting and assigning consent. Companies must disclose specific kinds of data they use or collect and their role in ad campaigns in order to register for the TCF. That means publishers need finer controls over consent data for consumer transparency and choice.

Why was it updated?

TCF v1 was the first framework of its kind.  Because it was new, the focus was mostly on ad-tech vendors and didn’t take publishers into consideration. In an increasingly digital world, publishers, vendors, advertisers, media agencies, and data protection authorities should all be consulted to ensure the framework is improved. TCF v2.0 seeks to provide choice and transparency to consumers and continues to take feedback to drive innovation and provide greater control to publishers.

Key changes include:
  • Consumer transparency and control
  • Greater control for publishers
  • GDPR consent and support for the “legitimate interests” legal basis for processing data.
  • A more detailed description of the purpose of data processing.
  • Customization of the vendor operation

03What's new in IAB TCF 2.0?

IAB TCF 2.0 is the result of continuous consultation with its users and a broad base of stakeholders. The new version introduces the “right to object” to a processor’s “legitimate processing” legal basis for data processing. IAB TCF 2.0 has been designed to give enhanced transparency and choice to consumers while providing enhanced control to publishers. This is accomplished by incorporating the following changes:

Enhanced Purpose Granularity

The purposes of data processing have been extensively revised to provide additional granularity. Individual purposes have been further subdivided increasing the total number of purposes from five to ten. Two Special Purposes have also been added. Features have also been increased to five with two of the Features being designated Special Features requiring opt-in.

Right to Object

Users will be able to communicate their Right to Object to processing on the basis of the Legitimate Interest for processing directly to CMPs. The objections will be communicated by the CMP to Vendors by Purpose.

More Complete Accommodation of Legitimate Interests

Vendors will be more accountable for whether their “legitimate interest” legal basis has been acknowledged. The vendor will receive an explicit signal that it has been acknowledged.

Granular Controls

New, more granular controls give publishers more control over the data processing purposes allowed on a per vendor basis. Publishers can create different rules for each Vendor or group of Vendors.

Application of Policies

Greater support for the users of the framework in the application of the policies, terms and conditions, and technical specifications.

Flexible Vendor Legal Bases

Vendors are able to register a flexible and default legal basis to accommodate regional legal differences.

04FAQs for TCF 2.0

What does the IAB do?

The IAB develops technical standards and best practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing.

Additionally, they:

  • Provide transparency and consent information to support GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive.
  • Give vendors the ability to work with publishers legally in accordance with the GDPR.
  • Allow publishers to request consent from vendors to process user’s data.
  • Provide vendor guidance: Vendors can receive information about user transparency and choice from publishers.
What is a purpose in the TCF 2.0?

A purpose in the TCF is defined as one of the outlined reasons for the processing of data, including the personal data of users, by vendors who are participating in the framework. The user is given a choice to consent or object to the purpose depending on the legal basis for the processing.

What is a Special Purpose in TCF 2.0?

A special-purpose is one of the defined purposes for processing the data by vendors participating in the framework for which the user is not given a choice to consent by the Consent Management Platform (CMP).

What is a Feature?

A Feature is how vendors participating in the Framework carry out a purpose. Examples of Features include combining data obtained offline with data collected online, linking devices that belong in the same household, and receiving automatically-sent device characteristics, e.g. IP address, user-agent string.

What are stacks in TCF 2.0?

Purposes and Features can be combined into stacks that serve to simplify consent without sacrificing granular information or choice. They can substitute initial information about two or more purposes and/or features. By utilizing Stacks, you will be able to group two or more Purposes and/or Special Features which may help with user experience and understanding. There are 37 Stacks created by the IAB, with different combinations of Purposes or Special Features.

Who is in the IAB?

The organization is composed of more than 650 media and technology companies responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns. They include publishers, ad agencies, and brands.

Who can join the IAB?

Membership is available to corporations engaged in selling, measuring, monitoring, or producing advertising on the internet.

All vendors can register to participate in TCF 2.0 at the IAB Europe registration site.

05How does CookiePro help?

CMP Builder

CookiePro has partnered with IAB Europe to integrate the IAB Europe GDPR Transparency and Consent Framework into the CookiePro platform via a free TCF 2.0 CMP builder.

The CookiePro IAB TCF 2.0 CMP builder makes it easy to take steps towards GDPR compliance, specifically using the Transparency & Consent Framework.  With just 3 easy steps, it takes less than 5 minutes to set up your own IAB TCF 2.0 CMP!

CookiePro Account

Create a CookiePro account to get access to additional features to help you comply with the TCF 2.0 Framework.  Create and customize a TCF v2.0 banner and preference center for your site with an intuitive customizable template.  Modify vendors, stacks, and styles – all from the CookiePro app.

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