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IAB TCF in 2024: Navigating Cookie Consent Complexities

Unveiling the intricacies of IAB TCF and its impact on user consent. Explore alternative approaches for achieving GDPR compliance and fostering user trust on your website in 2024.
Aditya Kulkarni
Updated 1 month ago

What is the purpose of the IAB Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF)?

The IAB Framework aims to create standardized cooperation between online publishers, advertisers, and tech companies supplying consent management when meeting GDPR requirements for transparency and user consent. It facilitates collaboration among publishers, advertisers, and Consent Management Platforms (CMPs).

Stakeholders in the online advertising industry have participated in creating the IAB framework and it was established to standardize user consent collection for data processing within the online advertising ecosystem. The framework enables the sharing of consent between first parties (e.g. publishers), third parties (e.g. advertisers), and the consent management solutions in use on the first party’s website.

Key Players in the IAB TCF Ecosystem:

  •  Publishers:  Website owners like yourself who display ads and collect user data.
  •  Vendors:  Third-party companies like advertisers and analytics providers who use user data for various purposes.
  •  CMP (Consent Management Platform):  A service like Secure Privacy that helps publishers collect and manage user consent in accordance with IAB TCF.

However, recent pronouncements from Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) raise concerns regarding IAB TCF's full alignment with the GDPR.

Key Considerations for IAB TCF:

Understanding IAB TCF Requirements:

The IAB TCF dictates specific guidelines for how user consent is obtained and communicated. This includes:

Cookie Banner Appearance: The IAB defines the user interface (UI) of the cookie banner displayed on your website. This ensures a consistent user experience across different websites. While the full list of specifications can be found on the IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework Policies:, some key requirements include:
- Prominent display, separate from other information.
- Explanation of data storage and processing on user devices.
- Information about third-party vendors accessing user data and purposes for processing.
- Link to a list of identified vendors.
- Standardized list of purposes for data processing.
These requirements can lead to a larger cookie banner with detailed text. However, any modification can risk non-compliance with IAB TCF.

Preference Center: When users click "customize" on the IAB cookie banner, they are directed to a preference center. This center offers:
- "Ad Settings" tab: Provides details about vendors selected by the publisher in the Secure Privacy console. Users can grant or deny consent for specific vendors and purposes.
- "Settings" tab: Maintains the original Secure Privacy functionality, allowing users to directly choose cookie categories for consent.

As you can see there are some heavy impacting requirements with the size of the cookie banner and the text within it. This is why the default IAB banner style looks the way it does in the middle of the page. All the text in the banner has been approved for use and hence can’t be reduced or changed without risking compliance with the IAB framework. 

Secure Privacy: A User-Centric Approach to GDPR Compliance

Secure Privacy offers a compelling alternative that prioritizes user privacy and website owner control via Google Consent Mode Advanced:

  • Empowering Website Owners: Our platform grants you complete authority over the cookies placed on your website and the user consent options presented.
  • Streamlined Consent Management:  A user-friendly interface simplifies the consent collection process without compromising transparency.
  • Seamless Google Consent Mode Integration:  Ensure future-proof compliance by integrating seamlessly with Google Consent Mode Advanced.

Leveraging Google Consent Mode with Secure Privacy

By combining Google Consent Mode with Secure Privacy's GDPR-compliant (without IAB reliance) cookie banners, you achieve:

  • Enhanced User Experience:  Clear and concise cookie banners that respect user privacy.
  • Efficient Consent Management:  Effortless collection and management of user consent.
  • Adaptability to Evolving Regulations:  A future-proof solution that adapts to changing privacy regulations.


While IAB TCF provides a standardized approach, it presents potential limitations in terms of user control and compliance. Secure Privacy empowers you to navigate the complexities of user consent while fostering trust and ensuring robust GDPR compliance on your website by using Google Consent Mode Advanced (without IAB).

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