On 7 November, the Technical Committee deliberated the clauses of working draft 5 of POPI. They went through many clauses and discussed many issues, but here are some key points that stood out for me.

There are two things that you don’t want to know how they are made: sausages and laws

They revisited the privacy of children, which is good. Our children need protection. It looks like they will be given special treatment.

They debated the definition of ‘consent’ and agreed that it would remain ‘consent’ and not be changed to ‘assent’. This is correct in our view as most of the rest of the world uses ‘consent’.

The Committee agreed that the Enforcement Committee would comprise between three to five persons. This is interesting and shows that the enforcement of POPI may be taken more seriously. POPI looks like it will be a much more actively enforced law than others, like PAIA.

The committee will prepare a new Working Draft version 6 of POPI and present it to the full Portfolio Committee before the end of the current term of Pariliament, which is 9 December. The Committee said that there would still be a lot of political consultations that would need to be sought. The drafters need to consider more options and proposals. It therefore does not look like POPI is going to be enacted anytime soon. Probably not before June 2012.