Pro­tec­tion of Per­sonal In­for­ma­tion Bill

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT - THE FRUS­TRA­TION OF BE­ING

bom­barded with un­so­licited calls from call cen­tres of­fer­ing prod­ucts that you have ab­so­lutely no need or want for is an all­too-fa­mil­iar feel­ing for most. Banks, in­sur­ers, cell­phone ser­vice providers and gyms are com­mon cul­prits and when this plays out, it of­ten leads us to be­lieve that our in­for­ma­tion is be­ing handed out to any­body who wants it. This is about to change.

The ad­vent of the Pro­tec­tion of Per­sonal In­for­ma­tion Act (POPI) is go­ing to make it very dif­fi­cult for di­rect mar­keters to get their hands on your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

But be­fore you let out a sigh of re­lief, bear in mind that the bill is also go­ing to have a ma­jor im­pact on the way that com­pa­nies do busi­ness – es­pe­cially if that busi­ness holds a lot of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion about cus­tomers.

“Since the POPI I Act was signed into law last t year by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, ma, com­pa­nies of all shapes and sizes are try­ing to come e to terms with what this means ns for them and the per­sonal data ata they hold,” says Daniella Kafouris, se­nior man­ager ger for data pri­vacy and d POPI com­pli­ance at t Deloitte & Touche.

Some ex­cep­tions ns ex­ist, but, ac­cord­ing ng to KPMG’s Cor­po­rate te Law Ad­vi­sory Prac- tice, ev­ery per­son n who col­lects, stores res and other­wise mod­i­fies or uses in­for­ma­tion is re­spon­si­ble on­si­ble un­der POPI and must com­ply with the con­di­tions re­quired for the law­ful pro­cess­ing of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

Or­gan­i­sa­tions have started wak­ing up to the fact that they have been sleep­ing on ver­i­ta­ble gold mines of value in the form of con­sumer data. Per­sonal data is a valu­able com­mod­ity in to­day’s era. And now, the pro­tec­tion of that data has be­come equally im­por­tant.

The anal­y­sis of big data has be­come a key ba­sis of com­pe­ti­tion, in­no­va­tion and con­sumer sur­plus for com­pa­nies, which is why the le­gal­i­ties of POPI have to be care­fully con­sid­ered.

Saint-Fran­cis Tohlang of trends anal­y­sis com­pany Flux­trends com­ments: “It forces or­gan­i­sa­tions to use per­sonal data re­spon­si­bly and safeg safe­guard it. At the heart of this is our pri­vacy in the face of more sur­veil­lance, pri­vacy t threats and grow­ing

dis­trust.” THE BUR­DEN OF COM­PLI­ANCE As POPI is pos­sib pos­si­bly among the most com­pre­hen­sive pieces of pri­vacy leg­is­la­tio leg­is­la­tion in the world, the pro­visi pro­vi­sions make it dif­fi­cult to fu fully un­der­stand the imp im­pli­ca­tions.

Tohlang says that e eth­i­cal data man­age­ment will be the re­sult. “In­vest­ing in the in­fra­struc­ture, tech­nol­ogy and gov­er­nance to man­age data d in a pro­fes­sional and eth­i­cal ethic man­ner will be a fu­ture trend tre that gains more trac­tion.

“Per­haps the true ef­fects of POPI will most af­fect those in the busi­ness of di­rect mar­ket­ing. Cur­rently, di­rect mar­keters may col­lect, con­tact, re­tain and con­tinue to share that per­sonal in­for­ma­tion un­til such a point as a con­sumer ‘opts out’. This is the present sit­u­a­tion un­der the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act. Un­der POPI leg­is­la­tion, di­rect mar­keters will have to ob­tain per­mis­sion.” FROM DI­RECT MAR­KET­ING TO SO­CIAL ME­DIA MAR­KET­ING Tohlang says that we will see a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment and drive from or­gan­i­sa­tions to en­gage con­sumers in so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing as a means to over­come the sig­nif­i­cant con­straints POPI im­poses on other chan­nels of di­rect mar­ket­ing such as emails, SMS and phone calls.

“Mar­keters and com­pa­nies alike will now look to fur­ther the trend of speak­ing to their con­sumers through nar­ra­tives that ap­peal to their life­styles and needs.”

He says that cre­at­ing con­ver­sa­tions within com­mu­ni­ties is what will ul­ti­mately be­come the way in which mar­ket­ing takes shape. Mar­keters would also need to in­vest in to­tal re­wards schemes and value propo­si­tions to con­tin­u­ally en­gage con­sumers and con­vince them to want to stay in touch.

To ef­fec­tively man­age per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and com­ply with POPI, Kafouris says that or­gan­i­sa­tions must in­vest in es­tab­lish­ing the re­quired data man­age­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties. “While the re­quire­ments of POPI seem oner­ous, they also rep­re­sent good busi­ness prac­tice. If im­ple­mented cor­rectly, com­ply­ing with POPI has the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate tremen­dous busi­ness value.”

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