On Thursday 2nd February 2022, the Belgian data protection authority (APD) published its final decision on a long running complaint against the IAB Europe’s TCF – the Transparency & Consent Framework.  The TCF sets the standard for collecting Internet users’ permission to process their data for behavioral advertising – including pop ups asking for permission to use cookies; and the APD found that the standard breaches GDPR on several counts in its present form.

Techcrunch provide a detailed breakdown of the issues that APD have highlighted, plus the IAB Europe responded claiming the decision paves the way to develop TCF into a single framework that can be used and interpreted cohesively across EU nations.  Whilst there’ll be some initial concern, we wanted to highlight some snippets of IAB’s response to members below which provide some clarity of thinking:

There’s time to adapt

“IAB Europe is required to submit an action plan within two months to address the purported infringements in relation to its own role in the TCF, and then to execute the plan over a six-month period once the APD has approved it.”

“the APD considers the purported infringements by IAB Europe that it has identified to be susceptible of being remedied in six months.”

“We reject the finding that we are a data controller in the context of the TCF. We believe this finding is wrong in law and will have major unintended negative consequences going well beyond the digital advertising industry. We are considering all options with respect to a legal challenge.”

TCF is still valid

“The TCF has not been banned, as the complainants had sought in their original complaints and throughout the proceedings.”

David Snocken, VP Strategic Partnerships at Carbon says:

We think the iab with the TCF should be applauded for doing a great job of providing a mechanism which seeks to implement a balance between legislative requirements and the needs of the publishing industry.

It was always going to be a process involving challenges from multiple parties including privacy legislation, publishers and advertisers.

This judgement and the prompt response from iab evidences their commitment to being adaptable, with this being the next step of evolving a privacy first mechanism that balances the competing needs of all stakeholders.

Carbon is now part of Magnite.