The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and Google is at the forefront of these changes. As a part of its commitment to providing high data privacy standards, Google has introduced new requirements for publishers who use its products like Ad Manager, AdMob, and AdSense in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the United Kingdom (UK). 

Publishers must now use a Google-certified Consent Management Platform (CMP) that has integrated with IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) when serving ads to users in the EEA or the UK.

This article will provide an overview of the IAB TCF, Google’s new requirements, and why you need a Google-certified CMP for your business.

Introduction to IAB TCF

The IAB TCF (Transparency and Consent Framework) is a framework developed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to enable compliance with data privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It was first launched in 2018 and is designed to ensure that users have greater control and transparency over how their personal data is collected and used for advertising online. 

Let’s get familiar with who is involved:

  • Publisher: a website like yours that display ads
  • CMP: a Consent Management Platform like CookieYes that helps publishers obtain and manage user consent to comply with data privacy laws.
  • Vendor: a third-party service the publisher partners with to serve ads. 

Under IAB TCF, publishers are required to provide visitors with a consent banner that clearly outlines the types of personal data collected from them, why it’s processed and the third-party vendors involved. 

If the visitor provides their consent to data processing, the publisher passes the consent signal to the vendors. This signal informs the vendors whether or not they are allowed to process the user’s data for targeted advertising.

The new versions and why it matters

In 2020, IAB introduced TCF version 2.0 with updated features and guidelines to meet the evolving needs of the digital advertising ecosystem. TCF 2.0 brought several significant:

  • Enhanced transparency: TCF 2.0 provides users with more detailed information about the processing of their personal data, including the purposes and legal bases for data processing.
  • Greater user control: Users can now have more control and grant consent for specific purposes and vendors, as well as exercise their right to object to data processing on the basis of legitimate interests.
  • Improved vendor management: TCF 2.0 introduces the concept of “stacks,” which allows publishers to group vendors and purposes together, making it easier for users to manage their consent preferences.
  • Better integration with Google: Google has fully integrated its ad systems with TCF 2.0, ensuring seamless compliance for publishers using Google advertising products.

On May 16, 2023, IAB launched TCF version 2.2 in response to the Belgian Data Protection Authority’s decision. The key changes include:

  • Removal of legitimate interest as a legal basis for advertising and content personalisation.
  • User-friendly description regarding purposes and features instead of the existing legal text.
  • Additional information on vendors including categories of data collected, retention periods, and whether legitimate interest applies.
  • The total number of vendors to be listed on the first layer of the CMP.
  • Users should be able to easily access the CMP UI to withdraw consent.

Google’s new CMP requirements

In the wake of the finalised TCF v2.2, Google announced new requirements for CMPs with the aim to promote a unified and reliable approach for users and publishers.

Google has stated that anyone using its publisher products to serve ads to users in the EEA or the UK, should use Google-certified consent management platforms (CMP) that support the latest version of IAB TCF. These requirements impact the use of Google’s publisher products such as:

  • Google AdSense
  • Google Ad Manager
  • AdMob

For CMPs to be certified, they have to integrate with the TCF and also support Google’s additional consent specifications when working with publishers.

CookieYes and Google CMP Certification

We are excited to announce that CookieYes is now a Google-Certified CMP Partner for IAB TCF v2.2. After a successful evaluation process, we have been officially certified by Google for compliance with the latest version 2.2 of TCF.

We are also part of IAB Europe’s CMP Compliance Programme and is an IAB-approved CMP for TCF v2.2.

We are also an existing member of Google’s CMP Partner Program and are a Certified CMP Partner for Google Consent Mode. We support seamless integration with Consent Mode and Google Tag Manager to enable businesses to set them up effortlessly and address any technical challenges.

Why you need a Google-certified CMP 

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, Google is making TCF a mandatory requirement for its ad tech ecosystem. But, it’s important to not just use any CMP that is compliant with TCF but to ensure that it is a Google-certified CMP that is integrated with TCF v2.2.

Here’s why.

To show personalised ads: Any misconfigurations in your CMP that don’t adhere to Google’s requirements will stop you from showing personalized ads. This means, unless your CMP is certified by Google​​, you will only be able to show non-personalized ads to visitors in Europe and the UK.

Read: Google’s requirements to serve personalised ads

For better ad revenue: As you will not be able to run personalised ads, you may see a big drop in your ad revenue. This is especially true if you are a publisher with considerable traffic from Europe. 

Compliance with regulations: TCF is crucial for publishers who rely on targeted advertising as part of their business model. It provides publishers with a standardized approach to working with third-party vendors and reduces the risk of non-compliance.

The deadline for TCF v2.2 implementation is November 30, 2023. So, ensure that you move to a certified CMP before this date to continue using personal data for targeted advertising.

The way forward for publishers

If you are an existing CookieYes user, you can sit back and let us do the heavy lifting. CookieYes is always working to bring the highest standards of compliance for our users and we are in the process to become certified by Google. We will share the updates with you.

The new TCF v2.2 complaint cookie banner will be available on CookieYes CMP soon.

If you are not our user and you serve personalized ads on your website or app in the EEA and the UK, you need to ensure that your CMP supports IAB TCF v2.2.

With CookieYes CMP, you can give your users full control over their data privacy while collaborating with advertisers with greater transparency. 

How CookieYes can benefit your business

  • Integration with Google Consent Mode and Tag Manager
  • Compliance with the latest IAB TCF Version 2.2
  • Continue using Google publisher products to serve personalised ads
  • Coverage with multiple regulations (GDPR, CPRA, LGPD and more)
  • Complete transparency regarding your use of third-party vendors
  • User control over consent for each vendor or by purpose
  • Option to withdraw consent at any time with a revisit floating widget
  • Personalised user experience with custom language, layout, and branding
  • Support to address technical issues and smooth implementation

We understand that TCF may sound challenging for website owners and publishers, but CookieYes will take care of the complex bits for you. All you have to do is, sign up and get started for free