What is POPIA?

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) was signed into law and published in the Government Gazette in November 2013. The POPI Act protects the personal information (or data) of individuals, and sets out conditions for when it is lawful for a third party to process that information.

Protecting personal data helps prevent identity fraud, theft from bank and other accounts, and protects the fundamental right to privacy.

On 26 October 2016, an Information Regulator was appointed. The Information Regulator has the power to investigate parties that are in breach of the POPI Act, and to fine such parties.

Penalties carry significant financial and legal repercussions for a company found in breach of the POPI Act. Further repercussions include other far-reaching consequences, such as damage to reputation or the loss of customers and employees.

Who needs to comply with POPIA?

Any business responsible for processing personal information is affected by POPIA, and thus needs to comply.

Responsible parties include companies, financial institutions, government departments, learning institutes, medical providers, or people in other positions of authority who process and/or store the information of individuals or other companies.

Who should attend POPIA training?

The POPI Act potentially impacts all levels of a company. CEOs, compliance officers, information officers, human resources staff, managers, supervisors and employees working with personal information should all attend training in POPIA awareness and compliance.

Where can you get POPIA Training?

Compuscan Academy has developed courses for POPIA awareness and compliance, and will also be hosting major workshops in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town during October and early November 2017.

Compuscan Academy hosts two types of live workshops:

The POPIA Awareness workshop:

This workshop aims to create an awareness in everyday work activities for the data user; not so much as to be responsible for compliance, but to understand why responsible parties should adhere to the requirements set out by POPIA for the processing of personal information.

The POPIA Compliance workshop:

The POPIA Compliance course explains a responsible party’s obligations in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act, and how to prepare a business and ensure POPIA compliance in practice.

In addition, Compuscan Academy offers a POPIA Awareness course online. Outcomes of this course include:

  • Understand the concept of the right to privacy
  • Understand why information privacy has become so important
  • Understand the purpose of POPIA
  • Understand which information POPIA applies to
  • Learn what the exclusions from POPIA are
  • Understand the meaning of ‘special information’
  • Understand the circumstances in which special personal information and the personal information of children may be processed
  • Understand the 8 conditions which govern the processing of personal information
  • Understand the powers, duties and functions of the Information Regulator

Compuscan Academy emphasises the importance of educating employees and management on the processing of personal information, therefore Compuscan Academy will be hosting workshops in three major cities during the next two months. These workshops will take place in:

  • Johannesburg on 19 October 2017,
  • Cape Town on 2 November 2017, and
  • Durban on 9 November 2017

These workshops will assist businesses in understanding the role of information security in order to comply with constitutional and other legal obligations, and also how an organisation interacts with the Information Regulator. Each workshop will also cover the developing laws governing the protections of personal information and cybersecurity, as well as the remedies available to parties whose rights are infringed.

In addition to the POPIA Act, the workshops will also provide insight into the latest data protection developments, such as the General Data Protection Regulations, which will commence on 25 May 2018.

These workshops will be led by Compuscan Academy in conjunction with expert consultant Mark Heyink, who is an expert in matters related to electronic information, information security, privacy, and existing and emerging laws which govern information. Mark’s credentials include acting as an advisor to the Joint Parliamentary Committee for Justice, in the finalising of the POPIA during its passage through Parliament.

To download more information and the registration form for the POPIA workshops, click here.

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