IAB Europe Updates Transparency And Consent Specs

IAB Europe and IAB Tech Lab are updating the technical specifications for a framework aimed at helping online companies comply with Europe's privacy laws.

The General Data Protection Regulation, which took effect last year in the EU, requires companies to obtain consumers' consent before drawing on their personal data. Among other provisions, the law requires ad companies to obtain consumers' "unambiguous consent" before using their data for ad targeting.

The Transparency & Consent Framework, first unveiled last year, aims to serve as a standardized technology for notifying consumers about data collection, obtaining their consent, and informing online ad companies about that consent.

The updates -- slated to be unveiled Thursday -- are intended to “provide a little more granularity and more specificity” to consumers, IAB Europe CEO Townsend Feehan says.

Among other changes, the new specs enable publishers to ask consumers whether they consent to the use of their data for 12 purposes -- including personalized ads, personalized content and measurement of ad performance.

The original consent mechanism only enabled consumers to agree to the use of their data for five purposes.

The updated standard also enables publishers to restrict ad tech companies' use of consumers' data. That functionality doesn't directly stem from the GDPR's requirements, but is instead aimed at giving publishers more control over ad tech vendors,

The IAB will accept comments on the new standard for 30 days, and expects to finalize the specs between June and July, depending on members' feedback.

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