The Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (“POPIA”) has been signed into law and the grace period for businesses to ensure that they become compliant is now almost at an end.
POPIA is in full effect and businesses that have not yet started their POPIA compliance journey or fully implemented this framework to ensure that they comply with the provisions of POPIA are urged to do so soonest, or face the risk of severe penalties and sanctions.
On 1 April 2021, the Information Regulator published a Guidance Note in relation to information officers, which every business is required to have, as well as deputy information officers, to assist businesses with the process and requirements for the designation and appointment of these persons.
The Guidance Note stated that an information officer may designate one or more deputy information officers, as may be necessary to assist them with their POPIA compliance functions. For private bodies, the information officer is designated as the executive head of the responsible party, usually the CEO or Managing Director, who may delegate any power or duty imposed on him/her to a deputy information officer.
It is critically important that businesses register the designated persons with the Information Regulator as soon as reasonably possible and that these persons form an integral part of the team responsible for engaging the POPIA compliance journey of the responsible party.
The online portal for the registration of information officers and deputy information officers is now open and responsible parties are encouraged to make use of the portal to register their information officer and deputies as soon as possible.
Access the portal now via https://www.justice.gov.za/inforeg/portal.html.
Any support required regarding the registration of information officers and their deputies on the online portal, can be addressed to: registration.IR@justice.gov.za.
The application form for the registration of information officers, is also attached to this blog.
POPIA compliance is a specialised area of the law and ensuring compliance is important for every business that works with personal information. It is advisable that businesses and organisations obtain the legal advice of POPIA specialist attorneys in order to appropriately advise on the appointment, role and responsibilities of information officers and their deputies.