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POPIA: A Brief Overview

This act applies to the processing and management of personal information. The commencement date of section 1, Part A of Chapter 5, section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of sections 110 and 114(4).


The Act Aims To:

  • Give effect to the constitutional right to privacy;

  • Regulate the manner in which personal information may be processed;

  • Provide persons with rights and remedies to protect their personal information; and

  • Establish voluntary and compulsory measures, including the establishment of an Information Regulator, to ensure respect for and to promote, enforce and fulfil the rights protected by this Act.

Result of Non-Compliance:

  • Exposure to unnecessary financial and reputational risks;

  • Adverse media publicity;

  • Negative public perceptions;

  • Fines issued by the Information Regulator; and

  • Civil action by the data subject.

Your Rights (as the data subject):

  • To be notified of the collection of your personal information;

  • To be notified that your personal information has been accessed or acquired by an unauthorised person;

  • To establish if another party holds personal information about you,

  • To request access to your personal information;

  • To request the correction, destruction or deletion of your personal information.

  • To object, on reasonable grounds, to the processing of your personal information;

  • To object against the processing of your personal information for purposes of direct marketing (including solicitation of funding) through unsolicited electronic communication; and

  • To institute civil proceedings regarding the alleged interference with the protection of your personal information.

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