IAB TCF Update, Reduction of the timestamps precision in the TC String

UniConsent

3 min read

IAB EU has made some changes to the existing IAB TCF TC String and reduced the precision of the timestamps in the TC String.

IAB TCF Update: Reduction of the timestamps’ precision in the TC StringIAB TCF Update: Reduction of the timestamps’ precision in the TC String

The changes will apply to the values of the Created and LastUpdated fields in the Core String and will need to be implemented on both existing and newly created TCF signals (TC Strings).

What are timestamps in IAB TC String?

Timestamps in IAB TC String are two timestamps data fields included within IAB TC String, Created and LastUpdated.

Background of TC String timestamps

Under the GDPR, data controllers are required to create and maintain records of compliance, including, but not limited to user consent records. In this respect, the fields Created and LastUpdated are intended to help data controllers comply with their legal obligation and maintain online records that include a timestamp, in order to have an effective audit trail of how and when consent was given.

The LastUpdated field is also intended to help Publishers and their CMPs remind users of their right to object to processing or withdraw consent, as appropriate and at least every 13 months under the TCF Policy.

The TCF Policies Working Group and the TCF Framework Signals Working Group: in the context of TCF, a day-level timestamp of users’ latest choices appears sufficient when maintaining records of consent.

What are the changes of TC String timestamps in 2022?

  1. The Created and LastUpdated fields will have the same value, corresponding to the time when the TC String was last updated.
  2. The Created and LastUpdated fields’ value will be a day-level timestamp. To ensure backwards compatibility with existing implementations, the timestamp format will not be changed but hours, minutes and seconds will be zeroed out.

What is the deadline for the IAB TCF change?

IAB Europe notified all the parties about this change on 14th Jan 2022.

The deadline for this change is April 14th 2022.

What should we do?

As a publisher, if you are a UniConsent CMP user, you don't have to do anything. UniConsent Consent Manager is following up on all the upcoming changes. You will get compliant automatically.

As an IAB TCF vendor, you will expect to see the timestamps reduced precision.

About UniConsent

UniConsent is a part of Transfon's privacy-first User Experience Platform that serves tens of millions of users per day to provide a seamless privacy experience for both users and publishers in the age of post GDPR. Contact us to know more: hello@uniconsent.com

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