Plan for a smooth transition: TCF v2.0 is coming

Posted on: Thursday 21 May 2020 | Matthias Matthiesen - Senior Privacy Counsel, Quantcast

With the deadline for transition to TCF v2.0 approaching, Quantcast’s Senior Privacy Counsel Matthias Matthiesen shares how companies can prepare

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The IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) was introduced on 25 April 2018, a month ahead of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect. It’s a small wonder the industry was able to rally around a completely new way of organising itself via new technical standards and policies within the 24-month period that EU legislators gave industry to become compliant with the mammoth law that is the GDPR. 

But just like companies’ data protection programs must continue to evolve, so too must the standards leveraged by companies for that purpose. 

The original TCF was a good faith effort to meet requirements of the GDPR, but due to the time crunch, framework ideas that were around at the time of its launch didn’t make it into the first version. 

IAB Europe then launched an intensive 12-month process of improving both the technical standards and policies of the TCF based on market feedback, especially from publishers, and regulatory feedback, which culminated in the release of TCF v2.0 in the summer of 2019. 

Once the industry transitions to TCF v2.0, European digital properties will be giving consumers even more transparency into and control over how their personal data is processed. TCF v2.0 introduces:

  • A more comprehensive list of processing activities and purposes, of which consumers are informed in a more user-friendly way

  • More complete controls over relevant processing of personal data, including the right to object to processing not based on consent

  • New separate opt-ins for the use of precise geolocation data and active scanning of devices for identification

Now that TCF v2.0 has gone live, support for TCF v1.1 will be deprecated soon. The two versions aren’t backward compatible, and all implementers must transition to TCF v2.0 by the official deadline. Currently, both versions are supported during a transition period, which will now end on 15 August 2020, following a deadline extension of 45-days to help adoption among businesses struggling for resource during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Publishers and advertisers who currently use a TCF-compliant Consent Management Platform (CMP) should ensure that they implement an IAB-validated CMP supporting v2.0 before the deadline. 

While publishers and advertisers who haven’t yet implemented a TCF-compliant CMP should do so as soon as possible, the transition period doesn’t affect them in the same way: they can simply transition when they are ready. Using a CMP based on the TCF remains the recommended approach, as complying with the legal obligations under GDPR is difficult at best and impossible at worst without an industry standard and policies like the TCF.

Leading consent management platforms have already been updated to fully comply with TCF v2.0, including Quantcast Choice, which will be made available for free to publishers and advertisers. Anyone who is still looking for a TCF v2.0-compliant CMP should consult the IAB Europe’s website, which lists all providers that are offering updated solutions.

Find out more about TCF v2.0 and access helpful resources on IAB Europe's website here.

Written by

Matthias Matthiesen

Senior Privacy Counsel, Quantcast

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