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PoPIA is imminent, are you ready?


Source: Media release, Perfect Word, 19 November 2020, photo credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/

After nearly a decade of ‘it’s nearly here’ the Protection of Personal Information Act’s (PoPIA) arrival is genuinely imminent. Compliance with the Act is viewed as being expensive, intimidating, and confusing – leaving many businesses of all sizes unsure of how to approach the challenge. Small businesses may become daunted by the apparent cost of compliance.

The real question is, can any business afford non-­‐compliance? PoPIAi s designed to protect personal information processed by public and private bodies. “Personal Information” is that data which alone, or in combination allows a person to be uniquely identified, and any information that may tell the reader something about someone.

The Act came into effect on1 July 2020, with a 12-month grace period. From 1 July 2021, non-­compliance will come with substantial penalties, including: a fine or imprisonment of between R1 million and R10 million or one to 10 years in jail; and financial compensation for damages suffered by data subjects.In a world that has already been forced to digitise faster than ever before, concentrating on another area of restructuring may appear overwhelming.

For this reason, local provider of e-­signature solutions in South Africa, Impression Signatures, has embarked on a campaign to demystify PoPIA, making reliable information available to businesses of all sizes, at no cost. This campaign drives compliance by explaining not only why it’s important, but the terms, requirements, and obligations created by the Act too.
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