GDPR – Understanding IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework

Why should you read this article ?
Because understanding how the consent chain works is important to publishers who want to ensure GDPR compliancy.

The IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework helps actors in the digital advertising chain ensure they are GDPR compliant regarding the accessing of data and/or processing of personal data. The Framework is especially relevant for publishers (first parties) who partner with third parties to enable those third parties to process user data. It provides a standardized mechanism for requesting, storing and sharing user consent along the supply chain. Smart is fully compliant with this framework.

The purpose and vendor lists

At its core, the framework has two important lists:

A) A common list of personal data processing purposes

-storage and access of information


-ad selection, delivery, reporting

-content selection, delivery, reporting


B) A common industry-wide vendor list

All the technical platforms in the advertising supply chain that can store and process personal data. Smart is registered on this list as a vendor.

How it works

1. The publisher implements a Consent Management Provider (CMP) on the website/app. Smart provides a web CMP and an open source SDK CMP for iOS and Android.

2. In the CMP user interface, the user is asked for which purposes (“purpose choices”) and by which vendors (“vendor choices”), his or her personal data may be used.

3. The user’s responses result in a purpose choices string and a vendor choices string. Then, both strings are compressed to get the final consent string


gdpr consent string 1
Source: IAB Europe

4. The consent string (consent string payload) is then shared and propagated along the supply chain to make the user’s choices known to each party involved.

All the parties in the supply chain can read the consent string payload and detect if they have (green) or do not have (red) the user’s consent

Source: IAB Europe


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