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Protection of Personal Information Act Under the Spotlight

March 26, 2021

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

Public and private bodies have until 1 July 2021 to ensure that their processing of personal information conforms to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

The justice and constitutional development department confirmed this in a statement on 100 day countdown to be POPIA compliant.

Certain sections of the act came into effect on 1 July 2020.

The presidency published Proclamation 21 in Government Gazette 43461.

The act was assented to at the end of 2013.

The act aims to:

• promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies;
• introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information;
• provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000;
• provide for the issuing of codes of conduct;
• provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making;
• regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The Proclamation indicated that sections 2 to 38; sections 55 to 109; section 111; and section 114(1), (2) and (3) came into effect on 1 July 2020.

Sections 110 and 114(4) will come into effect on 30 June 2021.

Section 114 stipulates that all processing of personal information must within one year after the commencement of the section be made to conform to the act.

According to the department, the Information Regulator has prioritized certain processes including consideration of applications for approval of Codes of Conduct, Guidance Note on Information Officers and Deputy Information Officers to be published on or before the end of April 2021 and registration to commence on 1 May 2021 and consideration of applications for Prior Authorisation.