The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act was signed into law in South Africa in 2013, ahead of similar data protection laws in the EU. While some may say that South Africa is ahead of the curve with regards to data sharing legislation, many people still don’t know what exactly the Act is and how it affects their businesses.

The main goal of the Act is to ensure that all South African institutions conduct themselves in a responsible manner when collecting, processing, storing and sharing another entity’s personal information by holding them accountable should they abuse or compromise personal information in any way. Whether you are a contractor, specifier, architect or designer, you may be privy to sensitive personal information of your customers and you need to ensure that this information is handled with care or you could risk legal repercussions.

While the South African President signed the Act in 2013, members of the Information Regulator were only appointed in September 2016. This Regulator is responsible for education, monitoring and enforcing compliance, handling complaints, performing research and facilitating cross-border cooperation. If you’ve been procrastinating regarding how the Act affects your business, now is the time to sit down and look at how you handle the personal information of your employees, clients and suppliers.

Personal information includes the following: ID/ passport number, DOB, age, phone number, email, physical address, gender, race, biometric data, criminal record, employment history, salary information, etc.

If you want to build your own POPI Compliance Manual and Training Guide, consider QuickPOPI. This guide includes everything from a security implementation checklist and compliance officer training manual to prescriptions for direct marketing campaigns. The guide costs R1495 and can save you millions in fines or jail time.

For more information, contact Easy POPI on Tel: 083 650 0011 or via www.easypopi.co.za.

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