The bank calls to sell you a funeral policy. Simply complete this form is the wording on the top. One of the form’s sections is to state your university qualifications. Similarly on a vehicle finance application form – which had to be completed in it’s entirety to even be considered – is the question: What colour of fridge do you have. Relevance and reason are not explained on either form and could constitute a breach of one’s personal information.
LouisTHELawyer advises that some of us are aware that the Personal Protection of Information Act has been around for over 4 years. This Act known as Protection of Information Act should become law later this year. It is a new act that brings South Africa in line with international data protection laws and it enacts SA citizens’ constitutional rights to privacy.
Within the MICE industry are some prime examples. Registering as a visitor for an exhibition is one that comes to mind. If the exhibition organizer is accurately targeting the type of visitor best suited to the potential client base of their exhibitors – the range and depth of information required to register can be daunting and perhaps against the soon-to-be-promulgated legislation. Providing exhibitors with more data – ensuring they get ‘more bang for the buck’- at the expense of the potential visitor can be a bone of contention. Similarly a delegate’s registration form which has sections that have limited relevance to the conference subject matter could be construed as a ploy to ‘sell-on’ the consolidated outcomes emanating from the registration form.
These instances are viewed by the legislators as violating a citizen’s rights to protection of personal information. In other words the right of entry / acceptance being based on unrelated information with possibly ulterior motives is viewed as ‘not acceptable’.
Concludes Advocate Louis Nel ‘The new Act is certainly not a ‘toothless tiger’ & offences include hindering, obstructing or unlawfully influencing the Information Protection Regulator (‘IPR’) and contravening confidentiality – penalties for non-compliance are as follows: Offenders can be fined up to R10 million & imprisoned for between 12 months & 10 years!’