Faizel Patel – 24/06/2020
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) will finally come into law on 1 July.
Implemented in 2013, the Protection of Personal Information act gives effect to Section 14 of the Constitution, which provides that everyone has the right to privacy.
The Presidency says the Act promotes the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies and seeks to balance the right to privacy against other rights, such as access to information
Head of Technology and Privacy Law team at Herbert Smith Freehills Rohan Isaacs says, the implementation of POPI is a good move but it also has a lot of implications companies.
“We are all constantly bombarded with requests from direct marketers to buy insurance, or cellphones or airtime or whatever the case is. The act actually deals with direct marketing and what it really says is if you are an existing direct marketing customer from a direct marketer, they’ve go to give you the opportunities to ‘opt out’ if you don’t want to be bombarded by these sort of calls. You now have a legal mechanism to stop that.”
Smith says the act applies to all people.
“Another interesting feature of this act is that is also applies to corporate entities which makes it a little different from most similar legislations in the world.”
Organizations will have 12 months from 1 July to become compliant failing which, fines and penalties will apply depending on the offence, with a maximum of 10 years in prison or a R10 million fine.
Listen to the interview with Rohan Isaacs.