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IAB TCF 2.2: All the facts, timeline & how to use it now


The IAB has released its latest version of the Transparency and Consent Framework (IAB TCF 2.2) and brings with it some important changes for publishers.

What is the IAB TCF?

The IAB TCF is a framework of guidelines and technical standards that allows publishers and providers to collect and exchange consent information, or in simple terms: The TCF is how a provider (e.g. an advertiser on your website) understands which decisions made by visitors . The TCF standardizes the collection, communication, and understanding of consent information. This allows the provider to adapt its behavior, e.g. B. To display non-personalized ads instead of data-driven personalized ads.

Why should I use the IAB TCF on my website?

In principle, all major advertising companies support the IAB TCF as a Standard and participate as vendors in the TCF Global Vendor List (GVL). In order to display their advertising, these companies rely on the signals they receive through the IAB TCF. If these consent signals (the so-called “TC string”) are missing, most advertisers refuse to display any advertising . As a publisher, if you are not using the TCF, you are likely to be missing out on advertising revenue on your website.

What does the IAB TCF have to do with Google?

Google is one of the largest advertising companies in the world. With services like Google AdWords, Google AdSense, Google Ad Manager, Google AdMob or Google AdX, Google plays an important role for most websites when it comes to advertising on their website. Recently , Google announced that it would tighten its advertising policy and only serve ads when there is a valid IAB TCF 2.2 signal . This affects its platforms AdSense, Ad Mob or Ad Manager for users in the EEA and the UK. This new policy will come into effect in Q4 of this year . Websites and apps that want to display Google advertisements must implement a CMP that supports IAB TCF 2.2 and is certified by Google .

Is consentmanager Google TCF 2.2 certified?

Yes, consentmanager has already gone through the certification process for both IAB TCF and Google TCF certification.

What is the difference between TCF 2.0/2.1 and 2.2?

The IAB TCF 2.0 was released in 2019. Due to the conflict with the Belgian APD, the IAB released a new version of the IAB (version 2.2) to address some of the issues raised. The main differences are:

  • Higher requirements for displayed information for providers (e.g. data categories, retention periods, …)
  • Higher requirements of legitimate interest and removal of legitimate interest for specific purposes
  • Removal of certain technical features (e.g. IAB TCF CMP API getTCData command)

For a website or app owner, most of these changes will have no impact other than a minor change in the information displayed.

Timeline: when can I start? When should I start using it?

The “old” TCF 2.0/2.1 is still valid and can be used until the end of the transition period, which was extended to November 20 , 2023 . From this point on, only the TCF 2.2 is valid. The consentmanager has already started supporting TCF 2.2 – websites can already switch from 2.0 to 2.2 if necessary .

But: All providers must update their registration with the IAB GVL. Additionally, providers need to update their technology to understand and support the TCF 2.2 signals. This requires a manual process with most providers and therefore takes time. It is therefore to be expected that many providers will need time to adapt. We therefore recommend that you do not switch to the IAB TCF 2.2 before November , as this could result in losses in advertising revenue for publishers.

How can I start?

If you would like to move to TCF 2.2, you can do so in your consentmanager account by going to:

(old view) menu> CMP’s> Edit> Other options> IAB TCF:

(new view) menu> CMP’s> Other options> IAB TCF:

Will all users be asked again if I upgrade to TCF 2.2?

No. The old consent signals are still valid and will continue to be used by the CMP after November 2023.

Why are there new s-vendors with the upgrade? Is that ok?

Not all providers that were registered with IAB TCF 2.0 are also registered with 2.2. With the switch to 2.2, these providers have now lost their status as IAB providers. This means that the IAB ID is lost (ID without an “s” or “c” in front) and only the system ID (the one with an “s” in front) can be used for the provider.

Unfortunately, this also means that the automatic assignment of purposes is lost. This means that the relevant providers must now be manually assigned to a purpose.


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