The enactment of the Protection of Personal Information Act (“POPI”) and developments in data protection law are expected to continue to affect the way organizations and companies conduct their businesses.
POPI intends to give effect to the constitutional right to privacy by introducing measures and obligations upon employers, and granting rights to employees with a view to striking a balance between the right of employers to conduct a business on the one hand, against the rights of its employees to privacy on the other.
Limited sections of POPI have already been brought into force, with the majority (including the sections which create compliance obligations) to take effect at a later date. Once the legislation takes full effect, there will be a one year transition period for employers to ensure compliance, but it this is likely to be insufficient in many cases. Businesses should start to consider what steps and how long it is likely to take to take to comply, to ensure compliance within the prescribed period.