IAB Europe issues updated GDPR-compliancy protocol

Transparency and Consent Framework puts consumers as "the principal focus"

IAB Europe and the IAB Tech Lab have released the second iteration of the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), a guide to help digital advertisers comply with the market's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The policy updates come after the groups put version 2.0 of the standard up for public comment in April, accepting submissions for 30 days. A steering group of 10 national IAB chapters and 55 companies drafted the current version of the policy.

Over the last 12 months, IAB Europe and the IAB Tech Lab have especially sought feedback on the TCF from publishers and regulators. The goal of the updated TCF is to provide consumers with more transparency and further enable GDPR-compliant programmatic deals.

TCF 2.0 has three specific updates to its parent guide, which was launched in April 2018:

  • An increase of "purposes" – reasons for which publishers and vendors can process personal data – from five to 10, plus two special purposes to give publishers more flexibility
  • A more complete accommodation of the "legitimate interest" legal basis for processing personal data to include whether a vendor has disclosed its legitimate interest, and of a user's "right to object"
  • More publisher controls over the purposes for which individual publishers manage personal data

Vendors can now also use the same purpose on multiple legal bases, and publishers can then say which legal argument they prefer to work under in order to more easily operate in whichever of the European Union's 28 different markets they choose to.

The trade bodies are rolling out an updated version of the compliancy standard after IAB Europe ran a study finding that 86% of European brands are in-housing programmatic despite GDPR constraints.

Google, which has already been slapped with a £44m fine over GDPR violations, said it would provide detail on its "integration approach" of TCF 2.0 in the coming weeks.

"We welcome the announcement of the final terms of TCF 2.0," said Chetna Bindra, senior product manager for user trust, privacy and transparency at Google.

"Google has collaborated with the IAB Europe and its members throughout this process. In line with the IAB Europe timeline we expect to integrate with TCF 2.0 shortly after the switchover from TCF 1.1 and when 2.0 goes fully live, which we currently understand to be by the end of Q1 2020."

Townsend Feehan, chief executive of IAB Europe, added: “The original TCF was launched to help a complex industry value chain manage their obligations under new regulations, notably the GDPR.

"With the number of constituents involved and disparate regulatory interpretations across multiple jurisdictions, it was essential that the evolution of the framework was handled sensitively, with the final specifications able to be adopted in a manner consistent with differing business models in a wide range of operational markets."

She added: “While the TCF will continue to evolve to meet the needs of our dynamic industry, I am confident this update addresses all the feedback we have received from many DPAs [data protection authorities] throughout Europe, as well as the needs of each part of the digital advertising value chain."

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