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The Protection of Personal Information Bill

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The Protection of Personal Information Bill. 13 February 2013. INTRODUCTION. The POPI Bill, developed out of the Open Democracy Bill in 1996 Consumer protection legislation Growth of the information age

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  • The POPI Bill, developed out of the Open Democracy Bill in 1996
  • Consumer protection legislation
  • Growth of the information age
  • Growth of credit, banking, insurance, pharmaceutical, direct marketing and health care industries
  • Growth of electronic and technological databases
  • Personal information has become saleable to highest bidder in order to increase sales
  • Data protection legislation; personal info must be processed with privacy of data subject in mind


  • If collection of personal information is allowed, then it has to be regulated to allow for fairness, and effectiveness of such collection and integrity of information
  • Open Democracy Bill
  • Removal of data protection provisions from the Bill by Cabinet
  • Different from PAIA(2 of 2000): Free flow of information
  • POPI regulates the flow of personal information
  • Eight years of research (SALRC)
  • First introduced into Parliament in 2009,adopted 9th version on September 2012


  • Personal information’ includes information relating to:
    • A wide range of personal characteristics - race, gender, sex, marital status, national, ethnic or social origin; colour, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental health, well-being, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, and birth, etc.
    • Educational and medical, financial, criminal, or employment history.
    • Any identifying number/symbol and contact details (email address, physical address, telephone number etc), location identifier, online identifier, or biometric data.
    • Opinion information, including views/opinions of another person abut that person;
    • Private/confidential personal correspondence.
    • The name of the person (if with other personal information).


‘Processing’ covers all aspects of the information cycle – including collection, dissemination, and destruction.

‘Record’ is any recorded information, regardless of medium, in the possession of the responsible party including –



  • The Bill provides for offences and Penalties
  • Obstruction of Regulator.
  • Breach of confidentiality.
  • Obstruction of execution of warrant.
  • Failure to comply with information/enforcement notices is a criminal offence.
  • Failure of witnesses to attend and give evidence or to produce a book/document or object.
  • Failure to comply with conditions for lawful processing in so far as they relate to the processing of a data subject’s account number.
  • Knowingly or recklessly obtaining or disclosing a data subject’s account number or procuring a data subject’s account number to another party without consent.


  • The Bill provides protection for data subjects in the processing of their information
  • The Committee should ideally consider the positive features of the Bill
  • Propose that the Committee considers support for the Bill after satisfying itself that the all areas that require clarity has been addressed