Protection of Personal Information bill signed into law

President Jacob Zuma has signed the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Bill into law, the presidency announced on Wednesday, 27 November 2013.

“The act will give effect to the right to privacy, by introducing measures to ensure that the personal information of an individual is safeguarded when it is processed by responsible parties,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

No commencement date was announced, but Michalsons Attorneys said in a statement to expect the president to proclaim one in about 6 months.

According to Michalsons, the Information Regulator needs time to establish itself and the commencement could be staggered.

A grace period for companies of one year from the date of commencement is also expected, Michalsons said, effectively giving them 18 months to ensure all their information processing complies with POPI.

It is possible that the grace period could be extended once for a further three years, Michalsons said, but encouraged anyone affected to act now to ensure compliance.

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Additional reporting by Sapa

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Protection of Personal Information bill signed into law