Google Ads integration with the IAB Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF)

IAB Europe has finalized v2.0 of its Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) developed with IAB Tech Lab and mutual member companies. Google's integration with TCF v2.0 will make it easier for you to use IAB TCF v2.0 directly or use a consent management platform (CMP) that uses IAB TCF v2.0 to pass consent signals to Google.

On August 15, 2020, the IAB will switch over from TCF v1 to TCF v2.0.

How it works

Starting August 13th, 2020, Google’s support for IAB TCF v2.0 will be available. Google Ads will be able to read and interpret the TCF v2.0 transparency and consent (TC) string for conversion tracking tags. This will enable consent management platforms (CMPs) which create TCF v2.0 strings based on user choices to send consent signals to Google Ads.

Integration with TCF v2.0 means that our ads products will have the ability to read the transparency and consent string. Your associated Google tags adjust their behavior based on the contents of the TC string.

Setting up the Transparency Consent Framework v2.0

To use the TCF v2.0 string with your Google Ads tags, you’ll need to opt in by adding one line of code above your tags so that they can properly read the TCF string. To enable TCF v2.0 support, you’ll need to:

You’ll need to add the following line of code above your Google tag or Google Tag Manager snippet on all pages where you have Google Ads tags.

window ['gtag_enable_tcf_support'] = true;

Example code

You’ll need to place the code to enable TCF v2.0 support anywhere above your Google tag or Google Tag Manager container snippet. The example below shows the TCF line of code placed above an example of the Google tag.


    window ['gtag_enable_tcf_support'] = true;  



<!-- Google tag (gtag.js) - Google Ads: TAG_ID -->

  <script async src=""></script>


    window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];

    function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}

    gtag('js', new Date());





Google Ads behavior with the Transparency & Consent Framework v2.0

The TCF organizes data processing using “Purposes.” Each purpose has a corresponding legal basis of “Consent” or “Legitimate Interest.” Google Ads conversion tracking tags implemented via Google Tag Manager or the Google tag will handle requests that contain the consent string in the following ways:

Purpose Google’s Registered Lawful Basis Description Impact to Google Ads if missing
1 Consent Store and/or access information on a device. Cookies will not be created or used by Google Ads for measurement or personalization. Remarketing lists will not accumulate data for unconsented users, and attribution reports may be more limited.
3 & 4 Consent Create and use personalized ads profile. Events are not eligible for ads personalization, and are not used for remarketing lists. Users already added to audience lists are unaffected.
7 *Flexible - default to Legitimate Interest Measure ad performance. Google Ads requires this purpose for all conversions. If this purpose is not present, Google Ads will not record the conversion.
9 *Flexible - default to Legitimate Interest Apply market research to generate audience insights. Google Ads requires this purpose for all conversions. If this purpose is not present, Google Ads will not record the conversion.
10 *Flexible - default to Legitimate Interest Develop and improve products. Google Ads requires this purpose for all conversions. If this purpose is not present, Google Ads will not record the conversion.
SP1 Legitimate Interest Ensure security, prevent fraud, and debug. This purpose is always present and available within the TCF.

* Google is flexibly registered for TCF purposes 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10 and defaults to legitimate interest. Unless you configure your CMP to restrict Google to consent for these purposes, Google will rely on legitimate interest where the CMP has established it with the user. Google is not flexibly registered for purposes 1, 3, and 4 and always requires consent for these purposes. The remaining TCF purposes are not used by Google Ads conversion tracking tags, but may be used by other Google products.

Note: Google Tag Manager and the Google tag only accept TCF strings that are correctly implemented according to the TCF policies and technical specifications, and adhere to Google’s EU User Consent Policy. If your CMP doesn’t respond within 500 milliseconds or you see “error”, “stub”, or “loading” status, the tag will proceed in a restricted mode: 

  • Writing and reading of Ads first party and third party conversion cookies will be restricted
  • Google Analytics advertising features are integrated with IAB TCF v2 and will treat those requests as if they came in with all Purposes denied, the effects of which are outlined in the table above. 
  • Remarketing features will be disabled.

Troubleshooting error messages

If your CMP doesn’t respond within 500 milliseconds or you see “error”, “stub”, or “loading” status, the tag will proceed in a restricted mode. To fix that:

If you are manually invoking the function to fire a conversion tag:

  • Make sure the response to getTCData TCData.eventStatus = 'tcloaded' OR 'cmpuishown' + 'useractioncomplete' is sent within 500 milliseconds. These indicate the CMP is ready to provide the user with a choice regarding consent.

If you are not manually invoking the function to submit a conversion tag:

  • Work with your CMP to ensure they implement support for getTCData and return TCData.eventStatus = 'tcloaded' OR 'cmpuishown' + 'useractioncomplete' to indicate the user consent is ready for use through the API within 500 milliseconds.

How the TCF interacts with personalized advertising, consent mode, and other signals

In the event Google receive multiple, conflicting signals, Google will take the most conservative union of the signals in favor of privacy. For example:

The same process would be true if conflicting signals were received between TCF and the restricted data processing parameter

In order to keep your tagging as lightweight as possible and avoid unintended interactions, we recommend implementing only one of either TCF v2.0 or consent mode. Both can be set up to interpret user consent and adjust tag behavior accordingly.  

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