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Legislation

Understand POPI In 60 Seconds

So here is the low down on POPI. Nope, we ain’t talking about a “POPPY” china, we’re chatting about something far more serious. The Protection of Personal Information Bill is a pretty important piece of law that aims at protecting the personal information of South Africans. So what’s it all about and why is it important to you as a marketing manager? Are you looking to use some 3rd party data to market into?

I’m a bloke so I am going to get right down to the nitty-gritty.

The Act was signed into law in 2013 and affects the way companies collect, store and use personal information, provided by their customers, employees and the public.

We need this type of legislation and it needs to be enforced, otherwise your personal details at the bank will be handed over to a cellphone company, who in turn will sell your details onto an insurance company, who will then sell your details onto a fitness chain. You get the idea. This type of legislation has been adopted around the world, and it’s about time we jumped into line.

This is what I believe you need to know (high-level stuff, but ultimately the stuff that counts):

  • Personal information must be collected for a specific purpose, and this needs to be made clear to the subject you are collecting the information from. A data subject can, at any time, request information pertaining to the collection of their data. Now that POPI is in place, you have the right to ask “How did you get my information?”
  • If you hold my information for reason X and you use my information for reason Y, it’s a problem.
  • People must “opt-in” to receive direct marketing communication like SMS and email, and in each communication they must be given the opportunity to “unsubscribe”. If you get any SMS and email marketing communication you will see evidence of this “unsubscribe” option in the copy or generally at the bottom of email comms.
  • Provided a company has been clear and upfront as to why and how it wants to collect and process information, that they can provide the data record with a history of how their data has been collected and give that data record the option to “unsubscribe” from any direct marketing communication, they will be regarded as compliant.

So why is this important to any marketing manager who is looking to use an external data player?

It’s simple. Your brand cannot run the risk of sending out a direct marketing message to any data record that isn’t POPI compliant.

Failing that, you might find yourself packing up your stuff and looking for another marketing position.

Why don’t you get in touch with us. Our data is all 100% POPI compliant.

Until next time.

Brendan