Data Protection & Privacy
Information Regulator confirms deadline for registering Information Officers no longer 30 June 2021, releases a guidance note on exemptions from conditions for lawful processing, and extends the commencement date of the application of section 58(2) of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 4 of 2013 (“POPIA”).
The Information Regulator has recently released a flurry of media statements, guidance notes and amendment notices ahead of the much anticipated commencement date of POPIA on 1 July 2021. We summarise the most recent developments below.
On 22 June 2021, the Information Regulator announced that there will be no deadline for responsible persons to register Information Officers, and that responsible parties will not be held liable for failing to register their Information Officers and Deputy Information Officers by 30 June 2021. The decision follows technical problems being experienced on the dedicated portal for registering information officers and concerns raised around the registration process. The announcement can be accessed here. The Information Regulator has advised that it will communicate alternative registration processes in due course (and we expect a new registration deadline).
Notwithstanding the fact that there is no deadline for registration of Information Officers currently in place, POPIA will still come into effect on 1 July 2021.
On 21 June 2021 the Information Regulator published the Guidance Note on Exemptions from the Conditions for Lawful Processing of Personal Information (“Guidance Note”), a copy of which can be accessed here.
The purpose of the Guidance Note is to provide guidance to responsible parties who (i) intend to apply for exemption in terms of section 37 of POPIA; or (ii) are exempt from certain provisions relating to the processing of personal information in respect of certain functions in terms of section 38 of POPIA.
On 22 June 2021 the Information Regulator issued an invitation to responsible parties who wish to apply for exemptions from a condition for lawful processing of personal information in terms of section 37 of POPIA. The invitation can be accessed here.
Responsible parties have been urged to carefully read the Guidance Note before submitting an application for exemption from a conditions for lawful processing of personal information to the Information Regulator.
Of import, the Guidance Note provides that:
The Information Regulator also recently published an amendment notice in terms of section 114(3) of POPIA (“Amendment Notice”), amending the initial notice published in Government Gazette No. 297 on 1 April 2021, which Amendment Notice extends the commencement date of the application of section 58(2) of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 4 of 2013 (“POPIA”) from 1 July 2021 to 1 February 2022.
Section 58(2) of POPIA prohibits responsible parties from processing personal information that is subject to prior authorisation of the Regulator in terms of section 57(1) of POPIA, where such processing activity has been notified to the Information Regulator and is awaiting a decision by the Information Regulator.
The applicable processing activities which require prior authorisation from the Information Regulator include:
The Amendment Notice provides welcome relief to organisations who will no longer be required to suspend any of their activities that are subject to prior authorisation from the Information Regulator in terms of section 57(1) of POPIA on 1 July 2021.
For more information about the notification and application process for prior authorisation and what these activities entail refer to the link to our Guidance Note here. Further we attach a link to the initial notice in Government Gazette No. 297 on 1 April 2021 here and the latest Amendment Notice here.
If you need any assistance with understanding the implications of POPIA to your business, assistance with exemptions from the conditions for lawful processing of personal information or any POPIA related training, please reach out to Ernie van der Vyver, Nicole Britton and Kate Swart.