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August 12 2013

The Protection of Personal Information Bill: Implications for Employers

"The purpose of POPI is to give effect to the Constitutional right to privacy, by introducing measures to ensure the personal information of ""data subjects"" (including employees) is safeguarded when it is processed by ""responsible parties"" (such as employers). POPI provides conditions for the lawful processing of personal information. It sets out eight core information protection principles and conditions, including accountability, purpose specification, information quality, openness, security safeguards and data subject participation. Employers will have to comply with these principles whenever personal information of employees is collected, stored or used. Certain types of information such as ethnicity and trade union membership are considered 'special personal information'. The processing of such information is prohibited unless it falls within a statutory exception."