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POPIA – Are you ready?

Article provided by AZ Trading

South Africa is aligning to international standards of privacy and POPIA is becoming legally effective in 2020, an Act that promotes transparency around how information is collected and handled, this openness is likely to increase customer confidence in an organisation. However, this also means that as an organisation you need to ensure that you’re adhering to these regulations or face serious consequences.

According to Karl Blom, Senior Associate at Webber Wentzel, you may be legally penalised if you are found non-compliant and possibly subjected to information administrator fees of up to R10million for not complying with the information regulator of POPIA. Listen to the full interview here

There has been a lot of confusion around the POPI Act, and many companies have not bothered adhering to it, arguing that there have not been any consequences or inspections. This is true because the POPI ACT was not actually legally effective up until now.

Let’s explore that in more detail; the POPIA (The Protection of Personal Information Act) became a law in 2013, but a regulator was not appointed until 2016 and only now in March 2020 the POPIA is actually becoming legally effective.  An organisation may still rightly argue that the regulators in South Africa may still lack the capacity to respond quickly to non-compliance, the primary compliance risks are the people who are directly affected by your decisions. In short, if the law doesn’t find you out, the next time you have a security breach, your customers will.

What this means for your small business is that rules around how you handle your client information is becoming stricter and every business has a full year in 2020 to set themselves up to ensure that they are fully compliant by March 2021 or they will in fact face serious financial penalties or legal consequences.  AZ Trading is assisting numerous private and government organizations in becoming POPIA compliant, as this main factor of this act relates to how data is collected, used and then destroyed.

If you want to prevent a security breach of personal information, AZ Trading can assist in effectively destroying all documentation through offsite and onsite shredding services. For as little as R7.50 per KG for offsite shredding or a rental starting price of R500 a day for onsite shredding; AZ makes becoming compliant an easy step. AZ also supplies a range of shredders for sale to meet an array of budgets, ensuring POPIA compliance requirements an ongoing basis.

Some of the obligations that companies have under POPIA are to:

  • Only collect information that you need for a specific purpose.
  • Effectively destroy documentation using a paper shredder when information is no longer needed.
  • Apply reasonable security measures to protect personal information gathered.
  • Ensure all information is relevant and up-to-date-if it’s not – SHRED IT!
  • Do not burn information as you may become liable for a carbon offset penalty.

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