South Africa: Finally, Protection Against the Unauthorised Use of Your Personal Information - but Beware Social Media


Sick and tired of cold calls from direct marketing salespeople, of finding your personal details have been passed on by someone with whom you have an account, or having your identity stolen? Some relief is at hand, but be aware that anything you post on social media is not protected.

With the remainder of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (Popia) coming into effect on 1 July, South Africans are finally getting some much-needed protection when it comes to the selling and unauthorised use of their personal information. The purpose of the act is to protect people from harm by protecting their personal data, protecting their privacy and to stop their money and identity from being stolen.

The commencement of the provisions of the act will affect all South African citizens and must be taken seriously. The act protects individuals whose personal information is gathered and used in any manner, which essentially includes the vast majority of South African citizens and companies, especially those dealing with the processing and use of personal information, such as banks, medical aids, telecommunication companies, internet service providers and so on.

Popia was promulgated in November 2013 after an investigation into privacy...

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