In the quest to make life more convenient through technological advances we have exposed ourselves to new threats.
The Protection of Personal Information has become increasingly important as technology enables greater access to our private details.
It is crucial that we guard against the dangers of identify theft and other crimes related to the misuse of personal information.
POPI at work
The exchange of personal information within an organisation for example can expose stakeholders to criminal activity.
According to Paul Esselaar, Director of Novation Consulting, a legal compliance company, the personal information of employees, clients and other stakeholders must be protected.
The Protection of Personal Information Act aims to protect the public from such dangers.
However, to really protect stakeholders in an organisation employers need to run a POPIA compliance project, explains Esselaar.
What is a POPIA compliance project?
“A POPIA compliance project is a project which aims to investigate the existing use of personal information within an organisation, assessing whether it complies with the requirements of the (POPIA), developing solutions to areas of non-compliance, implementing them and then reviewing how successful those solutions were.”
According to Esselaar this is not a simple project and requires extensive planning and proper project management.
Even though it is a complex and challenging process, every company needs to do one, says Esselaar.
What is the purpose of the project?
A compliance project has many benefits. It can improve organisational efficiency and compliance with South African law.
In terms of reputation management it will protect the organisation from embarrassing fines and bad publicity as a result of invading people's privacy.
It will also help organisations meet the growing demand from the global community for the complete protection of private information.
“It is really important to think of POPIA as a proper long-term project rather than a short term compliance exercise.”
By Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing