TCF 2.0 and Why Publishers Should Integrate It | Explained

IAB strongly recommends updating TCF v1.1 to TCF v2.0 until the end of September. According to Google, a grace period to fix all the TCF v2.0 implementation errors must be done before October 15th, 2020.

Table of Contents:

What is TCF?

TCF stands for the Transparency Consent Framework. IAB launched the first TCF version back in 2018.

With its new TCF v2.0, IAB continues to support the main initiative–encouraging ad tech vendors, publishers, and agencies to be compliant with GDPR when processing personal data or accessing and/or storing information on a user’s device.

TCF v2.0 vs v1.0

Publishers have openly stated that the first version was too ad tech focused. IAB has taken this into account and has made some improvements, so what has changed?

  • IMPROVED TRANSPARENCY 

TCF v2.0 improves transparency for the consumer by providing more detailed descriptions of what data will be collected and used. 

  • PUBLISHER FOCUSED

More freedom in the publisher-partner relationship. Publishers have more control over how their partners collect and store personal information. Publishers can easily restrict any data collection for any of their ad tech vendors.

  • GREATER CONTROL

Consumers have a right to object to their data being processed. TCF v2.0 allows consumers to easily give, refuse, or revoke their consent at any time. You can get more info here.

To gather consent form about website visitors and what data is collected when they visit the website, publishers use IAB-certified Consent Management Platforms (CMPs).

What is a Consent Management Platform or CMP?

A CMP is a technology used by website owners to collect data from users. It complies with handling users’ personal information, such as meeting the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and IAB Europe’s TCF.

CMP helps publishers protect and secure their users’ information from third-party data collectors and makes users aware of how their data will be collected.

IAB states that CMP is ”a company that captures and stores a Publisher’s preferred vendors and purposes and will also retrieve or set the vendor consent status of a user through a third-party cookie available to all CMPs.”

How does a CMP Work?

There are four key functions that CMP does:

1.Consent Notification: For CMP it’s a must to inform users that their personal data is going to be collected. It can look like consent pop-ups or privacy notice when a user visits the site.

2.Privacy Preferences for Users: CMP allows users to exercise consent and choose preferences at granular levels.

3.Proof of Compliance: If you have CMP there is a possibility to check the audit log. This means that there is a chronological record of all the activities done regarding the user data. 

4.Capturing and Sharing: Combines user preferences in an IAB-compliant consent cookie and then the data is legally shared with approved partners.

Examples of CMP

  • It can look like a ‘banner’ at the bottom of the website.
quantcast example

  • Pop-up message. For example, when a user visits a website, a pop-up asks his consent to use personal data. The pop-up function allows consuming the content only when a user has pressed the ‘consent’ button.

Source: bannertag.com

Why do Publishers Need to Implement CMP that is IAB-Approved?

As we mentioned at the beginning, after September 30th, 2020, all publishers’ TCF v1.1 has to be updated to v2.0.

If your CMP isn’t updated to the latest version, you WON’T be able to show personalized ads in Europe due to GDPR compliance. This can cause a dramatic drop in ad revenue, especially for publishers whose website traffic is from Europe. 

*According to Google, if you have misconfigured CMP and failed to send a valid TC string starting from October 15th, 2020, all existing personalized ads will be served as non-personalized.

Note that if a website doesn’t have user consent, it can still display general branding or contextual ads, but not personalized.

!!! In order to meet the best practice regarding data collection and user privacy, your CMP must be IAB-approved.

What are the Best CMP Platforms for Publishers?

To make this easier for you and avoid manual check regarding CMPs approved by IAB, our experts suggest choosing between one of the best 2 CMPs– Quantcast or Funding Choices by Google.

1. Quantcast

About Quantcast:

  • IAB’s TCF v2.0 approves it, and they are core partners with IAB.
  • 14-year trusted relationship with publishers and advertisers.
  • No need for Google Ad Manager Account (GAM) or Google AdMob.
  • Easy of use–you can implement it in less than an hour.
  • It has a publicly available plugin–Quantcast Choice, and it’s for free.
  • You can display the message regarding data collection in fewer languages than using Funding Choices.
  • No options to edit the text of the message.

Step by Step Guide on How to Set Up Quantcast

*The guide below is for WordPress users; however, if you don’t have a WordPress account:

1. Start the guide from STEP 2 by creating a Quantcast account.

2. In STEP 6 you have to copy entire universal tag instead of universal tag ID. Then you should insert it into the header of your website. Done!

In this guide we use our client’s website–bannertag.com as an example.

Recommendations for Quantcast Users

Our experts have 2 recommendations to create a more appealing consent message for your users.

2. Funding Choices (CMP by Google)

About Funding Choices:

  • According to Google, this CMP is integrated with Google’s advertising services to help publishers collect their users’ consent for privacy regulations.
  • It’s approved by IAB’s TCF v2.0.
  • If you want to use this CMP, you need GAM or Google AdMob. If you don’t have one of these accounts, you can go with Quantcast.
  • You can display the message regarding data collection in many languages.
  • It’s for free.
  • Possibility to edit the text of the message.
  • Only pop-up notice available.

Step by Step Guide on How to Set Up Funding Choices

In this guide we use our client’s website–bannertag.com as an example.

Recommendations for Founding Choice Users

There are 4 recommendations, which will help you to create the best consent message for your users.

We hope that this article helped you to better understand the concept behind CMP. 

If you are still struggling with CMP set-up, email us at [email protected].

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