CONSUMER GUIDE – POPI ACT THE ACT WHICH AIMS TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVATE INFORMATION
We all have received those automated calls from insurance companies, medical aid or cell phone providers, where we all wonder how on earth did, they get out information and contact details?
This is a question will no longer be asked as from 1 July 2020 and the reason for that is that POPI (Protection of Personal Information Act, 4 of 2013) became officially effective from today.
The POPI Act, aims to protect each citizens’ Constitutional right to privacy by obligating both public and private bodies to safeguard one’s personal information, such as information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person (Section 1 of the Act).
POPI defines personal information as any information relating to one’s gender, race, sex, marital status, age, physical or mental health, financial history, physical address and telephone number. This is only a list of a few examples of which information should be protected.
POPI, obligates both private and public institutions to take measures to protect a person’s private information and these institutions have a grace period until 30 June 2021, to implement measures to protect private information.
So, how does the POPI affect you as a consumer?
POPI will bring an end to all those automated calls, where you know you did not provide your information to the institution who is calling you. POPI, will also ensure that institution who shares your information will be held accountable.
How does POPI affect you as a public and private institution?
POPI forces both public and private institutions to implement processes and procedures, which is aimed at protecting a consumer’s private information and to prevent leaking of such information.
Institutions should now use this one-year grace period to implement measures and procedures in order to safeguard a person’s private information as well to set out a procedure, should there be a breach and the information is leaked.
Readers, should you receive an automated call or message, inform the caller that you did not provide your information to them and that they have breached your right to privacy and that they can be held accountable in terms of POPI.
Should you as a reader, form part of an institution, take measures and implement procedures to ensure that you comply with POPI.
Should you still feel left in the dark, send your query to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist to lighten the room.