Business owners continue to be plagued by confusion concerning South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) and how to become POPI compliant. Misinformation, enforcement protocols, resource distribution, and other factors compound the complexity of the privacy law.
A quick Google search will showcase just how difficult it can be to locate official POPI documents and accurate deadlines pertaining to the legislation. Many of us have turned to a POPI compliance checklist to find answers. These vague checklists only scratch the surface of the POPI act, and they do not cover every corrective action for your business to achieve complete compliance. Nor do they confirm your compliance for peace of mind.
POPI applies to your company, like it or not. Another concern regarding POPI is the distressing lack of urgency among South African companies to comply, which can have significant consequences for businesses of all sizes. National corporates and SMEs, including your company, could be subject to non-compliance fines of up to R10 million for failing to resolve all POPI legislation discrepancies. There is a desperate need to rectify non-compliance, whether you have several official POPI documents or not. Furthermore, you may be completely unaware of supportive POPI documents necessary for total compliance. POPI spares no company, and your business may be at more risk than you think.
It’s not too late to confirm your POPI act compliance. New POPI deadlines continue to surface on social media platforms, search engines, and digital publications. The POPI act came into full effect on the 1st of July 2021, however, more recently the Information Regulator chairperson advocate Pansy Tlakula, according to MyBroadband, “determined the 1 February 2022 as the date on which section 58(2) of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (No.4 of 2013) shall become applicable to processing referred to in section 57 of the said Act.”
This deadline extension for prior authorisation was welcomed by businesses yet to ensure compliance, however, that date has now come and gone. Fortunately, your company can still resolve POPI issues, and ensure that all documentation is up-to-date should you be assessed for compliance.
POPI Made Simple. No, Seriously.
Let’s face it - a POPI checklist is far from a reliable framework to ensure compliance. Most of the checklists that you have seen only cover a fraction of the requirements necessary for total POPI act compliance. You may have a Compliance Manual, for example, but that does not mean that you are POPI compliant. Many organizations run the risk of ‘compliance assumption’, without having a holistic understanding of the various procedures and corrective actions necessary to ensure total protection from POPI legislation. For this reason, your business may not be as POPI compliant as you have been led to believe.
So, how can you ensure that your business is compliant, and how then can you confidently know that you are completely covered? To reduce the risks of failing to comply, you could seek the support of a law firm or compliance specialist. But, the costs can quickly rack up when outsourcing POPI act compliance protocols. It is far more cost-effective to assign compliance roles within one’s company, provided that you can efficiently monitor and manage the assignments. That’s where POPICheck can help your company’s compliance teams.
This cloud-based rapid assessment tool, developed by digital transformation partner First Digital, gives your team complete control over POPI risk and compliance strategies. While it cannot make your business POPI compliant, it can and does provide the most comprehensive SaaS (Software as a Service) POPI support on the market. Furthermore, it showcases how POPI compliant your company actually is.
The following six steps summarise the POPICheck process to successful compliance:
1. Add Multiple Users, Regions, and Business Units
POPICheck lets multiple users across your company access POPI insights, submit assessments, and review POPI progress updates. Each member, from various regions and units, can create new assessments, view corrective actions, and contribute to improving each department's POPIA-readiness score.
2. Create POPI Assessments
Assessments are the cornerstone of POPICheck, allowing our software to share actionable strategies to ensure POPI compliance. Users can submit assessments to monitor progress and provide pertinent information on each unit's compliance activity.
3. Answer POPI Questions Tailored to Key Business Areas
Within each assessment, users can complete questionnaires and POPICheck will provide instant insight into your compliance for each. The questions follow a simple “yes”, “no”, or “I don’t know” formula, streamlining your experience for efficient delivery of corrective actions.
4. Review Corrective Actions and Utilise POPI Compliance Templates
Corrective actions are listed after each questionnaire based on priority. Users can navigate down the list and rectify each issue following POPICheck guidelines or using the 70 POPI templates available to subscribers of our Pro plan.
5. View Reports and Share Progress With Your Team
You can quickly generate a report of your current POPI compliance for each assessment and share insights with your team for regular progress updates. This can help your business manage the wide range of POPI protocols necessary for total compliance.
6. Reassess POPI Baseline and Repeat
As you resolve POPI issues, you will see your POPIA-readiness score gauges increase for each assessment. This is shown as a percentage slider that can be seen by all users monitoring each unit of a company profile. From here, you can reassess your POPI baseline, allocate new corrective actions to your team, and repeat the process until completely POPI compliant.
Where Do I Start? Sign Up for One-Month Free
Sign up for the POPICheck Basic plan and activate your free one-month trial. You can use all the features included in this plan to review your current compliance and receive detailed corrective actions. You can also upgrade to our Pro plan during or after your trial to access our library of 70 POPI templates.
Upon successful creation of your account, you can log into your profile with your credentials. Follow the setup guide to learn more about the software and how to navigate the seamless web app. Along with your compliance team, you can utilize the full range of features to efficiently achieve complete POPI compliance as well as generate your personalized Compliance Manual. By following the corrective action procedures for each business unit, you will improve your POPIA-readiness score and be well on your way to successful POPI compliance.