POPI Act Compliance Checklist


How to avoid a R10 million fine and/or 10 years in Jail.

The Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013, (POPIA) comes into effect 1 July 2021. As a business owner, you are responsible, and you may face criminal charges if your business is found to be non-compliant.

Appoint and register an Information Officer (IO)– this may be you, or a responsible member of your team. https://www.justice.gov.za/inforeg/portal.html. Define the role of the IO.

Audit: Where and how does your business process, store, and share personal data? Are there reasonable steps in place to properly protect and secure the data from possible breaches? (This is harder to identify than you think… databases, phone numbers, addresses, biometrics, emails, messages, signed receipts etc.)

Analyse what information is required at each touchpoint and whether it is strictly necessary. Obtain permission to use the information and restrict access to that information. It goes way beyond “Unsubscribe” messages.

Develop a POPI policy and procedures for the consent, processing, storing, sharing and destruction of personal information. Insist on suppliers signing SLAs for POPI compliance. Develop a “right to be forgotten” procedure.

Develop a complaints procedure and ensure that the relevant people are professionally trained to handle a query or a complaint.

Consider privacy rights and the potential for harm should hard copy files, laptops, phones, flash drives etc fall into the wrong hands. This includes all disused technology devices. Take remedial action.

Review business websites and all social media platforms in terms of privacy, security, cookie notices etc. and take remedial action.

Train all staff members in POPI and make sure the policies are enforced, especially concerning direct marketing.

Develop ongoing self-audits and compliance checks and stay abreast of industry best practice or codes of conduct.

Destroy all physical and digital personal information that is no longer required for the purpose for which it was originally gathered. Be aware of tax and other statutory limitations.


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