The Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF), initiated by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Europe, establishes standardized procedures for user data handling and consent acquisition in online advertising. Crucial for navigating the dynamic digital advertising landscape, TCF empowers businesses to collect and manage user consent, specifically for targeted advertising, while respecting privacy preferences. At version 2.2, TCF is a cornerstone for industry transparency and compliance. Key aspects include:

  • Comprehensive specifications and policies
  • Ensured transparency
  • User empowerment in decision-making
  • Compliance with data protection regulations

As an accountability tool, TCF aligns with the ePrivacy Directive and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), adapting principles from these regulations to the online industry context. It carefully considers the European Data Protection Board's (EDPB) guidance at the EU level and the Data Protection Authorities' (DPA) guidance at the national level. Upgrade to TCF 2.2 for enhanced functionality and alignment with the latest industry standards.


The Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF) is a voluntary standard designed for adoption by three distinct categories of stakeholders. Regardless of membership status in IAB Europe, all stakeholders are encouraged to utilize the TCF.

  • Publishers: Publishers are individuals or entities who own or operate online content or services wherein the collection and utilization of personal data by third-party companies (vendors) occur. These activities typically involve digital advertising, audience measurement, or content personalization.
  • Vendors: Vendors refer to third-party entities that do not typically have direct access to end-users of publishers. Examples of vendors include Ad servers, advertising agencies, DSPs, and SSPs, among others.
  • Consent Management Platforms (CMPs): CMPs are software or solution providers specializing in developing notices to inform users and capture their preferences for processing personal data. CMPs are crucial in facilitating user consent in compliance with data protection regulations.

Understanding TCF 2.2

The TCF 2.2 is the latest installment in the journey towards enhanced user privacy and transparent data practices. It sets the stage for a more refined, user-centric, efficient digital advertising ecosystem. Let's discuss some of the most interesting key features of TCF 2.2:

Enhanced Transparency

TCF 2.2 emphasizes transparency by offering users a clearer understanding of how their data is processed. Publishers and advertisers must provide detailed information about data usage, enabling users to make informed decisions regarding consent.

Granular Consent Options

Users now have more granular control over their consent preferences. TCF 2.2 allows publishers and vendors to request specific permissions for different processing purposes, providing users with a more nuanced consent experience.

Global Scope

TCF 2.2 caters to the global nature of digital advertising. It accommodates the diverse privacy regulations worldwide, ensuring compliance with regional requirements such as GDPR and CCPA.

CMP Validator Chrome Extension

CMPs are encouraged to use the CMP Validator Chrome Extension to facilitate compliance verification. This extension encompasses all the requirements of TCF 2.2, offering a comprehensive toolset for ensuring adherence to the specified policies and specifications.

CMP Validator Features

  • TCF 2.2 Compatibility: The extension ensures that CMP implementations align with the latest Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) version 2.2.
  • Policy and Specification Checks: CMPs can use the extension to verify compliance with the new policies and specifications, identifying potential issues needing attention.
  • Real-time Feedback: Receive instant feedback on compliance status, allowing for quick adjustments and corrections.
  • User-Friendly Interface: The extension provides a user-friendly interface, making it accessible for CMPs to navigate and utilize effectively.

What's Changed in TCF 2.2 vs. 2.0

TCF 2.2 brings forth substantial changes, building upon the foundation of TCF 2.0. From improved consent management to new features and enhanced functionalities, discover the transformative elements that differentiate TCF 2.2.

Legal Basis Amendment

  • The legitimate interest legal basis for advertising and content personalization has been removed within the TCF scope.
  • Vendors are now restricted to selecting consent as the acceptable legal basis for purposes 3, 4, 5, and 6 at the registration level.

Enhanced End-User Information

  • The names and descriptions of purposes and features have been revised for clarity.
  • The legal text has been replaced with user-friendly descriptions, complemented by real-use case examples (illustrations).

Standardized Vendor Information

  • Vendors must furnish additional details about their data processing operations, facilitating disclosure to end-users.
  • Information includes categories of data collected, retention periods per purpose, and legitimate interest(s) where applicable.

Transparency on Vendor Count

  • CMPs are mandated to disclose the total number of Vendors seeking legal basis establishment on the first layer of their UIs.

Consent Withdrawal Facilitation

Publishers and CMPs must ensure easy access for users to resurface CMP UIs and withdraw consent effortlessly.

These critical updates and adjust your implementations accordingly. For more details, see IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework Policies. Additionally, you can see Understanding the Transparency & Consent Framework v2.2 to explore more.

Benefits of TCF 2.2 Implementation

Explore the cutting-edge features and improvements introduced in TCF 2.2 that elevate user transparency, compliance, and the overall experience for publishers. Discover what makes TCF 2.2 a significant leap forward from streamlined consent signals to refined data processing.

User Trust and Engagement

By empowering users with more control over their data and privacy preferences, TCF 2.2 fosters trust and engagement. Advertisers and publishers respecting user choices will likely build stronger, more positive relationships.

Global Compliance

TCF 2.2 simplifies the challenge of navigating diverse global privacy regulations. Implementing TCF 2.2 ensures that digital advertising practices align with the specific requirements of various regions, reducing legal and compliance risks.

Efficient Consent Management

The framework's focus on granular consent allows for more efficient and targeted consent management. Publishers and vendors can tailor their requests to specific data processing activities, reducing ambiguity and enhancing user understanding.

Updates in TCF v2.2 Technical Specifications

To enact the policy changes, IAB Tech Lab has revised the technical specifications for the Transparency & Consent Framework. The updates encompass the following:

Deprecation of getTCData

  • Vendors must now use eventListeners, where applicable, replacing the deprecated getTCData.

GVL Updates (version 3)

  • Introduction of new fields for the taxonomy of data categories.
  • Inclusion of data retention periods per purpose.
    Support for the declaration of URLs in multiple languages.

Implement these changes accordingly for seamless integration with the updated framework.

How to Upgrade to TCF 2.2

To upgrade from TCF 2.0 to TCF 2.2, follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to the home screen.
  2. Under the Properties tab, click PROTECT AN APP (for apps), or under the Themes tab, click CREATE A THEME (for sites). For more information on protecting an app and creating a theme, see Protect An App and Customization for Site, respectively.
  3. While customizing your Purpose, select TCF 2.2 for the upgrade.

Callback Functions in TCF 2.2

For more information on callback function in TCF 2.2, see the following topics:

Key timelines

  • By November 20, 2023, CMPs and Vendors must integrate new policies and specifications to ensure compliance. Non-compliance may lead to disruptions or penalties. Swift integration is imperative for alignment with industry standards and regulations.
  • On May 16, 2023, TCF v2.2 was launched to respond to the changes and needs of the industry and introduce several iterations that relate to the Action Plan submitted to and validated by the Belgian Data Protection Authority. TCF participants were given the deadline of 20 November 2023 to adopt TCF v2.2 and make the necessary changes to their respective implementations.
  • On August 19, 2020, TCF v2.1 was launched to bring the TCF in line with the Planet49 ruling issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union and standardize the disclosure of the duration of operation of cookies.
  • On August 21, 2019, TCF v2.0 was launched following extensive industry consultation, particularly with publishers and industry associations representing all aspects of the industry.
  • On April 25, 2018, TCF v1.1 was launched after an extensive industry consultation with IAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab members, and the broader digital advertising industry.

    For more information and access to dedicated TCF resources, see Transparency & Consent Framework.

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Last Updated on: 19 Feb, 2024