The Effects of the Protection of Personal Information Act on the Property Sector

The Effects of the Protection of Personal Information Act on the Property Sector

The Protection of Personal information Act, (POPI ACT) will require the property sector to comply with the regulations of the Act or risk facing consequences. The POPI Act focuses on protecting personal information of individuals, for example, demographic information, contact details, personal history data such as employment, criminal and educational records, biometric details and opinions of individuals.

With identity documents and personal information being a vital need to carry out many transactions, It’s no secret that property agents deal with client’s personal information routinely. It’s a common experience to receive direct email marketing information from any businesses seeking clients.  Your specific service provider may forward marketing related info to its own clients , but they may NOT SHARE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION TO ANY OTHER PARTY WITHOUT YOUR WRITTEN AUTHORISATION.

It will be a vital need to get approval first before using anyone’s private data. An individual would have to give his or her consent before their private information may be distributed. Direct marketers will just have to come up with another strategy to  advertise. When it comes to collecting and storing, information property agents have to be extremely cautious. Any business dealing with private information must ensure that the information is kept safe and access to the information ONLY to the mentioned service provider.

For property companies in South Africa, to avoid problems that might arise due to failure to comply with the Protection of Personal information Act, It is going to be necessary for them to set up a plan that should have an objective of making sure that all employees fully understand the POPI Act and its ramifications. Educating of staff members through training workshops and staying up to date with the latest information relevant to the property sector should be compulsory.

Failure to abide by the regulations can result in a property companies being sued, loss of customers/business, lawsuits and a penalty of up to R 10 million.  The Protection of Information Act was passed on the 26th of November  2013. Some of the Act sections came into effect in April 2014. The POPI Act is not only being used in South Africa ,  many countries also have a similar law intended to protect rights to private information.