The Protection of Personal Information Act No. 4 of 2013 is abbreviated as POPI. Parts of the bill went into effect on April 11, 2014, after being signed into law on November 19, 2013. The rest of the law was still on the books in 2019, but it was dormant. It is scheduled to go into effect in 2019 or 2020, depending on when the Regulator is completely operational. The law's full text can be seen here.
When the Act is signed into law, businesses will have a 12-month grace period to update their systems. However, because implementing a POPI-compliant plan might take anywhere from six months to two years, the Information Regulator advises businesses to start planning now, even if no formal launch date has been set.
If you're familiar with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union, you can think of POPI as South Africa's equivalent of that regulation.
In essence, POPI establishes conditions for the authorised processing of South Africans' personal data (both South African citizens and those living in South Africa). There are eight general conditions and three less descript conditions included in this list.
POPI, like the GDPR, holds responsible parties liable for the actions of those who process their data on their behalf.
It also gives South Africans rights when it comes to unwanted electronic messages.
POPI differs from other privacy laws in a number of respects, the most significant of which is permission. Before processing data subjects' data, POPI does not require you to obtain their consent. The only time consent is required is when processing particular sorts of data or children's information.
The introduction of restrictions for processing particular sorts of personal information (including children's data) was the most significant shift for most South African businesses. Because they deal with the most personal data, marketing, healthcare, and the financial industry are among the most affected.
We here at P3 are completely compliant and value keeping our clients' personal information safe.