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How to successfully pass IAB compliance checks and prepare for TCFV2?

June 17, 2020byYannig Roth

The IAB Europe has recently carried out a series of compliance checks with CMPs and publishers to ensure that all actors in the advertising chain comply with the GDPR and the ePrivacy directives. With the imminent move to the new version of the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCFv2), publishers and CMPs will be subject to rigorous compliance checks, which need to be anticipated now. Didomi gives you advice to successfully pass these checks and get ready for TCFv2.

TCF: A common language for more trust and transparency

The Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) aims to enforce compliance with privacy regulation by proposing common rules for the processing of personal data or the access and storage of information such as cookies, advertising identifiers, device identifiers and other tracking technologies.

The TCF creates an environment in which website publishers can tell visitors what data is collected and how their website and the companies they partner with intend to use it. The framework provides the publishing and advertising industries with a common language for communicating consumer consent to serve relevant online advertising and content. It also provides legal certainty for all economic actors, helps to ensure the sustainability of business models, and reduces the direct costs of compliance.

This standard is based on 3 pillars:

  • The terms and conditions to which the various vendors and CMPs adhere upon registration
  • The policies that frame the obligations and data collection
  • The technical specifications that form the framework in which the actors will work.

The strength of the TCF is to propose rules and definitions that are the same for everyone, so that the whole programmatic chain can be sure that consent has been given and that everyone speaks the same language.  So, for this to make sense, all actors must comply with TCF rules, which is why the TCF Managing Organization has the CMP VALIDATOR, a tool for checking compliance with publishers, via their CMPs, to ensure that the standards are respected.

The CMP Validator’s compliance check

The IAB Europe’s audit focuses on the proper application of policies, i.e. the rules governing the participation of each of the players in the framework. With the advent of TCF v2.0, these checks will be more and more frequent, so it is advisable to anticipate them by analyzing the new policies, and especially by having a CMP to assist you.

Preparing for the checks may seem demanding, but their role is essential: they allow everyone to feel safe in this standard, to understand each other, and to collaborate serenely, in compliance with the rules of the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive. Let’s go into the practical details of the CMP Validator and its compliance checks:

The CMP Validator is managed by IAB Europe and oversees the compliance process of CMPs participating in the TCF. All CMPs that register with the TCF must pass the test before receiving a CMP ID that allows them to define a TCF consent chain.

The CMP Validator has three main features, the first of which is the compliance check. It is published on the Chrome Web Store in private mode and is only available to CMPs that register to the TCF, or publishers operating a CMP registered to the TCF. So it is an add-on to CHROME that systematically verifies a certain number of qualitative and technical compliance points with TCF policies. Each check is colour-coded according to 4 possible states (pass / fail / manual check required / not applicable).

All publishers who take this step benefit from a security that can then be promoted to their partners. A successful audit is an important differentiating asset for publishers on the market. 

Conversely, if you do not pass the TCF compliance check, the consequences are considerable: you can be banned from the TCF and no longer be able to carry out programmatic targeted advertising with the vendors you work with. You then have a period of 15 days in which to bring yourself up to date, at the risk of being disqualified. 

Faced with such a challenge, it becomes essential to have a CMP and to prepare for the compliance check. Everyone can perform their own audit with the Validator – to request access, you can send an e-mail from your organization’s domain to: tcf.compliance@iabeurope.eu.

CMPs: Publishers’ allies and key players in the supply chain

With TCF v.2, the common framework evolves to reassure and provide confidence to all stakeholders. The evolution mainly concerns compliance with the rules, and thus reinforces the role of CMPs who become indispensable players, true intermediaries between publishers and the TCF. Our clients who have been audited have informed us of the real benefit they have gained from this experience.

TCF’s rules make it possible to regain control over one’ s site and to better understand where the data goes and what is done with it. The implementation of a CMP makes them aware of what is at stake and increases their expertise. To be in conformity thanks to a CMP is to take back the control on your activity, and to create a bond of confidence with your customers.

Preparing for TCFv2 transition

IAB Europe, in partnership with IAB Tech Lab, announced on August 21, 2019 the release of the second version of TCF, and publishers have until August 15 to comply. TCF v2.0 continues to support its overall drive to increase transparency and consumer choice, consent and compliance management, and industry collaboration that focuses on standardization.

V2.0 also features new UI elements such as stacks, which allow publishers to group purposes into a category, and present information and choices by levels. This simplifies the presentation of purposes – expanding from 5 to 12 – without depriving users of more granular information and choices. In one sentence, if the first version of TCF allowed better understanding, v2.0 will allow better control.

Getting ready for TCFv2 is paramount

The compliance check is a crucial step in the implementation of the TCF and the proper respect of the standards established by the IAB Europe. Although it may seem constraining, it is in fact a pledge of confidence for all the actors in the chain. TCFv2 goes even further in this direction, giving more control to publishers, with more granularity and grouping possibilities. It also allows users to better understand what’s going on, and to give their consent or not, with greater freedom.

With the implementation of TCF v2 fast approaching, new validators and compliance checks have been developed and are available. Didomi has already been validated for version 2. We are thus able to accompany you in your transition towards greater transparency in order to comply with the law, but above all to create a relationship of trust with your customers.

Join our TCFv2 transition webinar on July 2nd

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