Important changes in POPIA implementation

The Protection of Personal Information Bill was first tabled in 2009. Very few provisions in the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (“POPIA“) were operational to date. The presidency determined on 22 June 2020 that sections 2 to 38; sections 55 to 109; section 111; and section 114 (1), (2) and (3) of POPIA shall commence on 1 July 2020.

Applicable immediately: 1 July 2020:

Sections 2 to 38; sections 55 to 109; section 111; and section 114 (1), (2) and (3).

The sections are essential parts of the Act and comprise sections which pertain to, amongst others, the conditions for the lawful processing of personal information; the regulation of the processing of special personal information; Codes of Conduct issued by the Information Regulator; procedures for dealing with complaints; provisions regulating direct marketing by means of unsolicited electronic communication, and general enforcement of the Act.

Applicable from 30 June 2021:

Sections 110 and 114(4) shall commence on 30 June 2021.

Section 114(1) is of particular importance as it states that all forms of processing of personal information must, within one year after the commencement of the section, be made to conform to the Act. This means that entities (both in the form of private and public bodies) will have to ensure compliance with the Act by 1 July 2021.  However, it stands to reason that private and public bodies should attempt to comply with the provisions of the Act as soon as possible in order to give effect to the rights of individuals.

The full press release can be viewed at: http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/press-statements/commencement-certain-sections-protection-personal-information-act%2C-2013