Popi to change the way SA firms handle your data

2014-02-03 14:01
Andrew Kirkland of Trustwave says that the Popi Act will force companies to ensure personal data fidelity. (Trustwave)

Andrew Kirkland of Trustwave says that the Popi Act will force companies to ensure personal data fidelity. (Trustwave)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Cape Town - Personal data has become a must-have commodity and a new Act seeks to limit just how much personal data companies may share or retain.

The scenario is a common one that many South Africans experience: You get a call at the most inappropriate time; the caller knows your name and proceeds to try and sell you something.

When asked about where your details were obtained, the answers are often vague at best - usually citing some database of a company - one that you usually can't check while you're on the phone.

One of the responses to this kind of invasion has been the Protection of Personal Information Act, signed into law after several delays as industry players negotiated what constituted personal information.

Generally the act seeks to protect privacy as guaranteed in the South African Constitution, and the law notes that "the right to privacy includes the right to the protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information" in its preamble.

Loyalty programmes

One of the most common ways that companies have been collecting personal data is by way of loyalty programmes, but the law prescribes that a clear distinction should be made on how this information should be secured.

"What Popi is aiming to achieve is for companies to classify their data and determine those elements that would fall into the Popi category. They would then need to go through the process of protecting or securing that data to meet this regulation," Andrew Kirkland, regional director for Trustwave Africa told News24.

Trustwave is a security company that specialises in helping organisation fight cybercrime by, among other things, conducting ethical intrusions and monitoring to ensure data fidelity.

The act prohibits the collection of information for the purposes of resale or trade, and also instructs those with access to personal data to ensure that the subject is aware thereof.

"Personal information must be collected for a specific, explicitly defined and lawful purpose related to a function or activity of the responsible party," the law says.

This would, for example, prohibit so-called raffles that record personal data which is then sold to third parties who can call or e-mail people with "special offers" or insurance products.

However, while different company departments may share data, the law takes a dim view on sharing data between subsidiaries.

Regulator

"If by divisions you mean subsidiaries then this may be more of a challenge since I would expect that you would still need to get permission to use this information from the customer. I suspect the regulator will have to make a call on this if it's not that clear," Kirkland explained.

However, the regulator has not yet been appointed in terms of the legislation and it is therefore unclear how companies that flout the law will be penalised.

The act requires that personal data be deleted once the objective has been achieved and if statistical information of the data is required, the subjects must be informed and their consent requested.

Kirkland said that the appointment of a regulator to manage the compliance is key to ensuring that Popi pay more than lip service to the protection of personal information in SA.

"We are waiting for the regulator to be appointed to get a better understanding of this [company accountability]. Non-compliance will at some point be penalised but to what extent can only be speculated at this point."


- Follow Duncan on Twitter

Read more on:    trustwave  |  online privacy
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 10:46 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    Earlier ACCIDENT before Hospital Bend has been CLEARED - HEAVY DELAYS from Bhunga Avenue
  • Wednesday Hout Bay - 10:30 AM
    Road name: Chapmans Peak Drive
    ROAD CLOSED between 10am and 3pm every Wednesday for Alien Vegetation Clearing until July
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Graduate Financial Advisor:

Western Cape
Persona Staff
Market Related

PHP Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd
Market Related

Brand Manager

Western Cape
Peoplefinder Career Placements
Market Related

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Somerset West

Houses R 2 297 000

APARTMENTS / FLATS FOR SALE IN Hermanus

Apartments / Flats R 1 825 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.