POPI Essentials

We recently came across a very useful summary of what one can expect when POPI becomes a reality.

The latest newsletter from attorneys, Van der Spuy & Partners of Thom Street, Paarl and Adderley Street Cape Town, contains an article titled: “In light of POPI, how should direct marketing efforts proceed?”

Apart from a more general outline of what POPI proposes to achieve, it provides guidelines (copied below) on what one can do to ensure that your ducks are in a row when it becomes law. This applies equally to financial advisers who canvass existing and new clients.

POPI has been signed into law, but with the exception of certain sections, has yet to come into operation. When it does come into operation, businesses utilising direct marketing campaigns will have to ensure that their efforts are aligned with POPI or face the possibility of hefty fines or even imprisonment.

How should direct marketers proceed? In any battle, planning is key and appropriate planning can provide your business with the necessary edge. In anticipation of POPI, a business should:

  • Audit its database used for direct marketing purposes and determine where ‘opt-in’s’ will be required and where ‘opt-out’s’ will suffice.
  • Take steps to obtain the necessary ‘opt-in’s where required and remove personal information of persons who have not provided the necessary consent for direct marketing (or have opted out), from their databases.
  • Establish an ‘opt-in’ process for new or prospective clients that aligns with POPI.
  • Obtain expert advice in putting the necessary privacy policies in place which will provide a framework for the processing of personal information, in compliance with the provisions of POPI.
  • Establish security measures to prevent personal information held by your business from being illegally accessed by third parties or used for purposes for which no consent was provided.

Readers are advised to read the full article to get a proper perspective on how it can affect them.

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