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Data Proof Your Future
South African companies, non-profit bodies and government organizations will soon have to apply new privacy regulations. Data Compliancehas been setup by experts in the field of privacy to help you ensure your compliancy, and differentiate yourself in the market from companies who are not compliant.
What does privacy mean? Personal data is, as US Vice-President Al Gore once said, “the new global currency”. No business can operate without HR data on its employees; and a list of its customers or clients. Most companies live from the marketing they do to consumers or businesses(the new POPI Act does not differentiate between protection for an individual or a company). Media companies depend on their journalists’ contacts (more personal data); medical companies use research on patients extensively to develop their products; and, of course, governments hold vast databases on citizens for all sorts of purposes (tax, property, company ownership, electoral rolls, e-tolls, etc., ). All this is personal information – and subject to the privacy rules outlined in the POPI Act.
In November last President Zuma signed the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI). We now await the date of implementation, however, for any company using personal data (which means every company) now is the time to start preparing for the new law!
There have been laws in Europe, North American and Australasia for many years on the protection of personal information. The increase in personal data on the IT Cloud makes it essential that there is communality between the national and regional laws that govern privacy.
The POPI law is one of the longest legal texts in the RSA with 115 sections. It also amends a number of previous laws, including the Protection of Access to Information Act of 2000 (PAIA). However, given the extensive coverage of privacy today, this POPI Act is not inclusive. Instead it lays down principles, which a POPI Regulator will be responsible for interpreting with the help of industry codes of [url removed, login to view] Regulator (very like the Financial Services Regulator) will have powers to fine companies (up to 10 million), start criminal proceedings, or confiscate databases, etc.
This is why it is essential for companies to receive proper and correct guidance from experts on how to start the process of compliance. The POPI law is complex. It is unlike most other laws in the RSA and it will look at international experiences for precedents. Data Complianceprovides you with this expertise and an international breadth.
The partners of Data Complianceare
Conock Consultancy, a partnership of Lauretta Ngakane, who is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and Alastair Tempest, also a member of the IAPP, past Director General of the Federation of European Interactive and Direct Marketing (FEDMA) with 24 years of experience in data protection laws in Europe.