IAB Europe, IAB Tech Lab Release Framework Addressing GDPR

IAB Europe and IAB Technology Laboratory have released technical specifications for the Transparency & Consent Framework after a 30-day public review in March and April 2018.

The Framework allows users to control their data and companies to adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which the European Union begins to enforce May 25. It was designed to adapt to other privacy regulations that come down the pike, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which has been around since September 2017, but will be voted on in November 2018.

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The cross-industry standard supports online services and their partners. Through the framework, consumers who come into contact with content from companies are made aware of how an online service and their partners uses their personal data to serve them advertisements.

“GDPR is kind of an eye opener for the industry in terms of the numerous relationships required to deliver and measure advertising successfully,” said Dennis Buchheim, senior vice president and general manager of IAB Tech Lab.

The new regulations will make companies aware of how the data flows through their advertising supply chain -- as well as rethink how they will engage with consumers, Buchheim said, as marketers address their companies' needs for more direct relationships and how they can discard those that don’t work.

The industry can expect greater transparency -- as many others have, Buchheim said -- and that’s why the Framework title includes the word “transparency.”

The Framework identifies and manages consent signs communicated to the publishers, defined as any company publishing content to which a consumer comes in contact or their partners throughout the supply chain. Search engines will need to adhere to GDPR, but the Framework is intended to support any company that relies on intermediaries to obtain the data. 

“For some of us it almost reminds us of Y2K,” Buchheim said, Y2K manifested in 1999 when programmers feared that as the calendar turned over to the year 2000, computer systems would fail. Companies spend millions to comply with the turn of the millennium.

And while Y2K seemed uncertain at the time, GDPR is all too real, he said.

The official release of the Transparency & Consent Framework reflects extensive feedback from publishers, agencies, and ad tech companies collected during the review period. As with all standards, it is expected that it will be evolve with new features and attributes in the future.

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