How safe is your date?

Read more about – Data safety and POPIA

What is the POPIA?

The POPIA is the Protection of Personal Information Act which sets forth the conditions which need to be followed by businesses and organisations, to protect the use, distribution, and processing of people’s personal information. The POPIA serves to protect the consumers involved from harm – such as theft, discrimination, improper distribution or unsolicited electronic communications.

The creation and implementation of the POPIA comes, as South Africa follows the lead of California with their California Consumer Privacy Act and Europe with their General Data Privacy Regulation. While each of these has its differences, they all stem from the same principles of accountability, data minimisation, data and consumer security, transparency, and the rights of data subjects.

How will the POPIA protect you? 

The POPIA is here to protect consumers or “data subjects”, by giving them more control over their personal data – with the way it’s collected, shared, and used by businesses and organisations.

The POPIA will give data subjects rights regarding their personal information. It will have 8 minimum requirements necessary for the lawful processing of personal data and covers a broad definition of personal information to allow for wider data subject protection.

The rights included for data subjects under the POPIA include the right to be notified on when and how your data is being collected, the right to access the data, and the right to correct or erase data.

This participation by the data subjects is only 1 of the 8 minimum requirements, with others, including:  Accountability, Processing Limitation, Information Quality, Openness, Purpose Specification, Further Processing Limitation, and Security Safeguards.

Security of data being the primary concern for businesses or organisations handling personal information, as it is their responsibility to ensure that data subject’s personal information is safe from data breaches, or that they have taken all possible measures to ensure the safety of the data.

As for the consequences for businesses or organisations that are not POPIA compliant, they can face lawsuits from data subjects that can carry hefty fines of up to R10 million and/or up-to 10 years in prison – not to mention the irreparable damage to their reputations.

Data safety and POPIA - How safe is your data?

CONCLUSION

The POPIA is a means for data subjects to have peace of mind when businesses or organisations are collecting their personal information, as it gives the data subjects rights to their information, as well as more control over their personal information.
It also holds the businesses or organisation accountable for the data and responsible for keeping the data safe, with the threat of legal action and/or the complete damage to their reputation.

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Data safety and POPIA should always be taken seriously.

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