South Africa’s new POPIA act: What you need to know
March 3, 2022

What do you need to know about POPIA?
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) is a new law that came into effect in South Africa on July 1, 2020. The purpose of the POPIA act is to protect personal information by regulating the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. The act applies to all organisations that collect, use, or disclose personal information in South Africa, including private companies, government bodies, and nonprofit organisations. Under the POPIA act, individuals have the right to access their data, request amendment of their personal information if it is inaccurate or incomplete, and receive notification if their personal information is being collected or used unauthorised. Additionally, individuals can file a complaint with the relevant authority if they believe their rights have been violated under the POPIA act.

Under the POPIA act, businesses must get explicit consent from individuals before collecting their personal information. They must also provide individuals with clear and concise information about their right to access their data, request rectification or erasure of their data if it is inaccurate or incomplete, exercise the right to be forgotten, and lodge a complaint if they feel that their rights have not been respected.

What should you do to prepare for POPIA?
1. In light of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) coming into effect on July 1, 2018, individuals and organisations must take steps to protect their personal information.
2. There are many things that organisations need to do to comply with the POPIA act, including establishing a privacy policy, ensuring that information is collected correctly and processed fairly, and protecting personal information from unauthorised access or destruction.
3. Individuals also have responsibilities under the POPIA act, including informing themselves about their rights under the act and taking appropriate steps to protect their personal information when handling it online.
4. Compliance with the POPIA act will require a process change for many organisations. Still, they must take steps to ensure that their data is protected in advance of the law’s implementation date.

In conclusion, the POPIA act is an essential piece of legislation that will help protect South African citizens’ privacy. Businesses should take the time to familiarise themselves with the act and ensure that they are compliant with its provisions. Individuals should also be aware of their rights and exercise them where necessary.