Michalsons attended the media briefing given by the Information Regulator in Cape Town on 13 February 2017. We were pleased to engage with this newly appointed, energetic and committed team. A few key points from their presentation follow:
- They have made significant progress and their website has been launched.
- The Information Regulator has been working on draft POPIA regulations that will most likely be tabled in Parliament in around six months’ time.
- They indicated that they hoped that the POPI commencement date would be before the end of 2017, but may only be in 2018. Whilst they understand the need for certainty they are unable to commit to a date at this point in time. POPI can only commence once they are operational. Bear in mind that there is a one-year grace period that runs from the commencement date and you only have to comply with POPI at the end of the grace period.
- They would prefer POPI to be known as POPIA. Is it POPI or POPIA?
- They stressed the importance of the balance between PAIA and POPIA and stressed the word information in both Acts.
- The Information Regulator indicated that they would be undertaking a benchmarking exercise to look at other data protection laws, such as those in UK, Germany, Mexico and selected African countries.
- The Honourable John Jeffries, Deputy Minister of Justice, noted that with the POPIA commencement coming, both public and private bodies should prepare to comply and that there was no reason to delay compliance efforts.
- They stressed that they wanted to be transparent and open, and welcomed engagement with industry sectors and other stakeholders. Their contact details are on their website.
What does this mean for Privacy and Data Protection and Access to Information in your organisation? Now more than ever it is clear that we must consider the global data protection regulations that will commence prior to POPIA. We can help you to determine what these new developments mean for your POPIA compliance efforts. We look forward to our ongoing engagement.
You can also read the full written media briefing on their website.