IAB Purposes, Special Purposes, Custom Purposes and How to Use Them

This article outlines the 10 purposes and 2 new special purposes from the IAB for TCFv2 and details the differences from TCFv1 and items you should consider for TCFv2.

What are purposes?

Purposes, created by the IAB, explain how a publisher, website, or other site is using the personal data collected from the user.

How have purposes changed from TCFv1 to TCFv2?

Version 1 of the IAB framework (TCFv1) consists of 5 purposes: 1. Information Storage & Access, 2. Personalisation, 3. Ad Selection, delivery and reporting, 4. Content selection delivery & reporting, and 5. Measurement.

Version 2 of the IAB framework (TCFv2) was designed to give the user more control over how their data is being used and how they can grant consent. In order to give greater transparency over how their data is processed by sites, the IAB have split out the 5 purposes from TCFv1 into 10 new purposes for TCFv2. These outline all the ways consumer data can be collected by a site in line with the IAB framework.

What are the TCFv2 purposes?

Purpose

Purpose Description

1. Information Storage and Access

  • Store and access information on the device such as cookies and device identifiers presented to a user.

2. Create a personalised ad profile

  • Collect information about a user, including a user's activity, interests, demographic information, or location, to create or edit a user profile for use in personalised advertising.

  • Combine this information with other information previously collected, including from across websites and apps, to create or edit a user profile for use in personalised advertising.

3. Create a personalised content profile

  • Collect information about a user, including a user's activity, interests, visits to sites or apps, demographic information, or location, to create or edit a user profile for personalising content.

  • Combine this information with other information previously collected, including from across websites and apps, to create or edit a user profile for use in personalising content.

4. Select basic ads

  • Use real-time information about the context in which the ad will be shown, to show the ad, including information about the content and the device, such as: device type and capabilities, user agent, URL, IP address

  • Use a user’s non-precise geolocation data

  • Control the frequency of ads shown to a user.

  • Sequence the order in which ads are shown to a user.

  • Prevent an ad from serving in an unsuitable editorial (brand-unsafe) context Vendors cannot:

  • Create a personalised ads profile using this information for the selection of future ads.

  • N.B. Non-precise means only an approximate location involving at least a radius of 500 meters is permitted.

5. Select personalised ads

  • Select personalised ads based on a user profile or other historical user data, including a user’s prior activity, interests, visits to sites or apps, location, or demographic information.

6. Select personalised content

  • Select personalised content based on a user profile or other historical user data, including a user’s prior activity, interests, visits to sites or apps, location, or demographic information.

7. Measure ad performance

  • Measure whether and how ads were delivered to and interacted with by a user

  • Provide reporting about ads including their effectiveness and performance

  • Provide reporting about users who interacted with ads using data observed during the course of the user's interaction with that ad

  • Provide reporting to publishers about the ads displayed on their property

  • Measure whether an ad is serving in a suitable editorial environment (brand-safe) context

  • Determine the percentage of the ad that had the opportunity to be seen and the duration of that opportunity

  • Combine this information with other information previously collected, including from across websites and apps Vendors cannot:

  • Apply panel- or similarly-derived audience insights data to ad measurement data without a Legal Basis to apply market research to generate audience insights (Purpose 9)

8. Measure content performance

  • Measure and report on how content was delivered to and interacted with by users.

  • Provide reporting, using directly measurable or known information, about users who interacted with the content

  • Combine this information with other information previously collected, including from across websites and apps. Vendors cannot:

  • Measure whether and how ads (including native ads) were delivered to and interacted with by a user.

  • Apply panel- or similarly derived audience insights data to ad measurement data without a Legal Basis to apply market research to generate audience insights (Purpose 9)

9. Apply market research to generate audience insights

  • Provide aggregate reporting to advertisers or their representatives about the audiences reached by their ads, through panel-based and similarly derived insights.

  • Provide aggregate reporting to publishers about the audiences that were served or interacted with content and/or ads on their property by applying panel-based and similarly derived insights.

  • Associate offline data with an online user for the purposes of market research to generate audience insights if vendors have declared to match and combine offline data sources (Feature 1)

  • Combine this information with other information previously collected including from across websites and apps. Vendors cannot:

  • Measure the performance and effectiveness of ads that a specific user was served or interacted with, without a Legal Basis to measure ad performance.

  • Measure which content a specific user was served and how they interacted with it, without a Legal Basis to measure content performance.

10. Develop and improve products

  • Use information to improve their existing products with new features and to develop new products

  • Create new models and algorithms through machine learning Vendors cannot:

  • Conduct any other data processing operation allowed under a different purpose under this purpose

What are Special Purposes?

Special Purposes cannot be objected to by a user. The legal basis for Special Purposes can either be set to ‘Legitimate Interest’ or ‘Not Applicable’’ depending on your use for these purposes for each Vendor.