The countdown is on – why the industry should switch to TCF v2.0 today rather than tomorrow

In August 2020 the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) will be updated to version 2.0. In the post, you will find out what the industry will face.

Hard to believe: Germany, self-proclaimed organization world champion and country of regulations, is one of the bottom lights in Europe regarding the legal requirements for cookies and user consent. While almost every area of ​​life is clearly regulated with countless laws, advertisers and publishers still move through diffuse gray areas with little clear regulations when it comes to online advertising. With the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), the industry association Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB) offers both publishers and advertisers a solution for advertising on the Internet. A comprehensive update to version 2.0 should take effect in August and significantly improve data protection. The catch: Version 1.1 of the TCF becomes unusable.

legal situation in Germany

However, as Dennis Buchheim, SVP and General Manager of the IAB Tech Lab, stated in an article for the specialist medium AdExchanger, there are still a large number of publishers in Germany, including greats in our industry, who do not even have Consent Management Platforms (CMPs). use TCF v1.1 compliant. In their view, the TCF has so far offered too few specific options for data processing out of “legitimate interest”.

Data processing for advertising purposes and the legally compliant consent for cookies are still quite new topics in Germany, since Germany, unlike other EU members, has not implemented the consent requirement for cookies from the ePrivacy Directive into German law. In other EU countries, a consent requirement has been necessary since 2011 at the latest, in Germany only a judgment in 2018 brought the binding requirement that consent must comply with the GDPR.

In the past few weeks, however, the topic has also attracted increasing interest in Germany, since on May 28 the BGH ruled in the process of the Planet49 company and its online competitions. In October 2019, the CJEU ruled that an active and informed consent of the user to cookies is essential. As expected, the German court has now determined that the use of cookies in Germany is generally only lawful with active consent. Time is short and publishers should quickly understand the advantages of switching to TCF v2.0.

is behind the TCF

First of all, it is important to examine what the TCF actually is and what it can do for publishers and advertisers. The IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) was introduced on April 25, 2018, one month before the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. The original TCF was an attempt to meet the GDPR requirements to the best of its knowledge and belief. Due to the lack of time, many framework ideas that existed at the time of its introduction did not make it into the first version. As a result, the IAB Europe started an intensive twelve-month process to improve both the technical standards and the guidelines of the TCF, which culminated in the publication of the TCF v2.0 in summer 2019. This was based on feedback from the market, in particular from publishers, and feedback from data protection authorities.

As soon as
the industry moves to TCF v2.0, consumers become even more so
Transparency and control over the processing of your personal
Data offered. TCF v2.0 includes:

  • A more comprehensive list of processing activities and purposes that inform consumers in a more user-friendly way
  • Greater control over the relevant processing of personal data, including the right to object to non-consent processing
  • New separate opt-ins for using precise geolocation data and actively scanning devices for identification

Nothing changes for the users themselves when visiting a website. At first glance, the Consent Management information from TCF v1.1 and TCF v2.0 will hardly differ, real changes would only be noticed by users when they looked under the hood. In the background of a website there is now much more information about data processing and options to control it more precisely.

The clock is ticking: publishers and advertisers must do that now

Publishers and advertisers who currently use TCF-compliant CMPs should ensure that they’re on before 15th of August implement a CMP validated by the IAB that supports version 2.0. The TCF uses central infrastructure to display current information that is necessary for informed and compliant consent. However, the infrastructure for TCF v1.1 will be shut down from August 15th, which is why it will no longer be possible to obtain informed consent from TCF v1.1 from this point in time. The situation is different for publishers and advertisers who have not yet implemented a TCF-compliant CMP: You can simply upgrade to version 2.0 when you are ready. However, it is advisable to switch as quickly as possible, as it can be difficult or impossible in the advertising industry due to the large number of third-party providers to obtain the necessary information for an informed consent without the TCF standard.

Leading platforms that manage the declarations of consent have already been updated and thus comply with the requirements of TCF v2.0. If you are still looking for a TCF v2.0-compliant consent management platform, you can find all providers on the IAB Europe website who support the updated version.

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