TCF – Transparency & Consent Framework

What is the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF)? 

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on 25 May 2018, revolutionised the data privacy landscape in Europe. 

GDPR was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, giving individuals greater control and transparency over their personal data while raising the bar for businesses to achieve lawful processing of personal information.

The IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) is the only GDPR consent solution built
by the industry for the industry, creating a true industry-standard approach. 

The TCF’s simple objective is to help all parties in the digital advertising chain ensure that they comply with the EU’s GDPR and ePrivacy Directive when processing personal data or accessing and/or storing information on a user’s device, such as cookies, advertising identifiers, device identifiers and other tracking technologies.

The TCF creates an environment where website publishers can tell visitors what data is being collected and how their website and the companies they partner with intend to use it. The TCF gives the publishing and advertising industries a common language with which to communicate consumer consent for the delivery of relevant online advertising and content. 

On 25 April 2018  the IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) v1.1 was launched after an extensive industry consultation with IAB Europe and IAB Tech Lab members and the broader digital advertising industry.

On 21 August 2019 a revised version of the TCF, TCF v2.0 was launched following extensive industry consultation particularly with publishers and the industry associations who represent all aspects of the industry. On the 15th August, TCF v1.1 was deprecated and all stakeholders are now expected to work with TCF v2.0.

TCF Key Components 

The TCF is a combination of key resources: 

  • TCF Policy 
  • TCF Terms & Conditions 
  • Transparency and Consent String with Global Vendor List Format 
  • The Consent Management Platform API 

In addition:

  • The Global Vendor List (GVL) managed by IAB Europe, captures and stores the registration of Vendors working with website publishers and advertisers, as well as Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) who work with publisher sites.
  • The CMP Validator is managed by IAB Europe and oversees the compliance process of CMPs participating in the TCF.
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