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What Does the P o P I Act Mean for You?

Most business owners will have heard of the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPI) which was tabled back in 2013 and has recently taken effect. What is the point of POPI and what do businesses need to do in order to adhere to the legal requirements?

What Exactly is the Protection of Personal Information Act?

The purpose of PoPI is to safeguard the personal information of individuals which are deemed “precious goods.” The idea is to regulate the way businesses store and use your personal information and allow you greater rights and protection over your own details.

If, for example, a business wants to send you a newsletter or any other marketing information, they require your consent to save your details, in this case likely your email address and name, and to use it for this purpose. You would have to give explicit consent to them, very often in the form of a checkbox on a website where the use and storage of your details are transparent.

In addition, as an individual, you choose what information you would like to share and should you wish for these details to be destroyed or removed, businesses must comply.

Businesses are now wholly accountable for the security of your personal information, access to it, the use of it, and the tracking of it. They are also required to inform you should your details be in any way compromised.

What is Considered Personal Information?

Essentially, anything that can identify a person is considered “personal information” but it does include other important elements.

For example, your name, ID number, address, email address or phone number are obvious identifiers. Add to this your gender, race, salary, marital status, religion or even your blood type, and you get an idea of the scope of the PoPI act. Further details of the protection of personal information act can be found here.

If you require your online safety features to be attended to, archiving and saving of data, email security or access to your online space, then chat with the team at Mailmech. While we can’t ensure your PoPI compliance, we can assist you with beefing up and maintaining your online security.


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