FAQs regarding TCF 2.0 by IAB

The IAB has issued a new version of their Transparency & Consent Framework (2.0) that will come into full effect on June 30th, 2020. The previous version (1.1) will be deprecated then. The following questions and answers will try to summarize what this means and  clarify the effect it will have in campaigns running on mediasmart which target countries in the European Economic Area. 

1. What is the TCF?
TCF stands for the Transparency & Consent Framework, ran by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). It is a standard for businesses in the ad tech ecosystem - publishers, ad tech vendors, agencies and advertisers - to run targeted ads and track user behaviour in compliance with GDPR (the privacy regulation adopted by countries in the European Economic Area.  For more information on GDPR and how it affects your campaigns in mediasmart click here.

In a nutshell, TCF determines how publishers should tell visitors what data is being collected, and how they and their vendors plan to use it, as well as which vendors are using it. Visitors can then decide which level of consent they provide so that this information can be taken into account by other parties in the ecosystem.

2. What is the main difference brought by TCF 2.0?

TCF v2.0 continues to support the overall drive of the TCF to increase consumer transparency and choice, management by digital properties of consent and compliance, and industry collaboration that focuses on standardisation.

The main changes with respect to the previous version are the following:

1) TCF 2.0 enables consumers to grant or withhold consent and also exercise their ‘right to object’ to data being processed.

2) Increased and more “user-friendly” detail on purposes is enabled, so that consumers gain more control over whether and how vendors may use certain features of data processing, for example, the use of precise geolocation. There are now 10 purposes (as opposed to 5 in TCF v1.0) and 2 special purposes. TCF v2.0 also includes 2 features and 2 special features.

3) Publisher can exercise more granular control over the purposes for which personal data is processed and flexibility with respect to how they integrate and collaborate with their technology partners. New publisher functionality allows them to restrict the purposes for which personal data is processed by vendors on a publisher’s website on a per-vendor basis.

For more generic information on TCF 2.0  click here.

When it comes to your campaigns in mediasmart, the main difference of this new version is that in order for publishers to share precise location (precision higher than 500 m or 2 decimal digits in lat:lon signals, a specific user opt-in is required.


3. Is mediasmart ready to support TCF 2.0?
Yes, mediasmart is registered as a vendor under TCF (vendor ID 193) and is operationally ready to support TCF 2.0. 2.0 signals will be processed during the whole month of June 2020 and the expectation is that 1.1 signals are completely deprecated by June 30th. We have had to upgrade the platform so that it can interpret the new signals encapsulating the more granular user consent coming in the bid request.

4. What purposes has mediasmart declared?
mediasmart has declared the following purposes and special feature, always with consent as the sole legal basis. This means that personal information shall only be processed when consent has been granted by the end-user. In the case of high precision location, the data shall only be processed when the user has opted in for this special feature.

- Store and/or access information on a device

- Select basic ads

- Create a personalised ads profile

- Select personalised ads

- Measure ad performance

- Apply market research to generate audience insights

- Develop and improve products

- Special feature: Use precise geolocation data


5. Will anything change after June 30th for my campaigns in mediasmart?
As high precision location information can only be processed upon the specific opt-in by the end-user to share this information, campaigns and audiences that target high precision location may see their reach diminished as publishers start deploying SDKs with TCF 2.0.

When an end-user has not provided their opt-in mediasmart platform one of the following scenarios can happen:

1) The SSP does not send the location information or sends the lat:lon truncated (only with the first two digits)

2) The SSP sends the lat:lon signal and it is mediasmart the one that truncates all but the first two digits after the decimal comma as soon as the bid request is received

3) The SSP does not send the bid request at all (this happens only in very few cases)

As campaigns and audiences that target high precision only, will not be able to use inventory that comes without the opt-in, their reach is expected to decrease.

In order to compensate for this, a new level of precision is being added in the platform: Medium Precision. When this level of precision is selected in your geolists or location-based audiences you will also reach inventory from users that have not provided their opt-in to share high precision location and, therefore, is only precise down to 500m.

6. What will be the impact in the reach of my campaigns? How can I minimize it?

The only campaigns whose reach could suffer after the adoption of TCF 2.0 are those targeting geolists with high precision. While these campaigns could run in all inventory with user consent, now they will require not only consent but also the additional user opt-in for sharing high precision location. The % of all users expected to provide opt-in very much depends on the publisher and the SSP.

If you want to make sure your campaign reach does not suffer, you can create copies of the geolists you are using to target your campaign with the new Medium Precision level and create a strategy targeting Medium Precision, whose budget you can increase only if the High Precision strategy does not reach its goals.

7. Can I still measure visits in real time?

Yes, you can still measure visits to POIs in real time, but the amount of users that can be observed to track attributed visits will be reduced to those who have provided the opt-in. Therefore, the total amount of "Attributed Visits" measured in a campaign is expected to decrease.

That being said, Attributed Visits should not be the KPI that measures success in a campaign, but instead the Uplift,  Incremental Visits % and Incremental Visits. Incremental KPIs may need more impressions to be statistically relevant, but they will continue to properly measure the  impact of our Proximity campaign.


8. Will the reach of Location-Based Audiences be reduced after TCF 2.0 is widely adopted?

Location-based audiences set with High Precision will require the specific opt-in of the user and, therefore, the amount of unique users that can be gathered around a given location is expected to decrease versus what was possible before the opt-in was required. 

You can always create Location-Based Audiences with the new level - Medium Precision - in order to include users who have not provided opt-in and whose precision will therefore be only up to 500 m.

9. Will there be any change in other tools provided by mediasmart?

Any pixel provided by mediasmart to either measure campaign results (i.e. visits) or creating audiences will now support the new format of consent signals for TCF 2.0. When these pixels try to count an impression or add a user to an audience directly, mediasmart will check whether the pixel is run in a country within the European Economic Area and, if so, the TCF 2.0 signal will be required to check the necessary consent has been granted.


10. Can I use my own vendor ID under TCF 2.0?

Yes, your mediasmart account can be easily configured to bid with your own Vendor ID. Please, get in touch with your Account Manager or support@mediasmart.io to set this up.

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