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Sighs of relief are likely when the MICE industry discover their hidden tattoo does not have to be confessed when completing any form as a way of acceptance or entry.

Louis the Lawyer has provided the stringency of the Protection of Personal Information when this legislation becomes law before the end of 2013.

The MICE Academy observes that just as we thought it was safe to go back into the acronym waters – there are more serious acronyms on the horizon.

The first principle of protecting personal information is accountability. ‘ It means’ advises Louis the Lawyer ‘ that the Act requires the responsible person (RP- that is the person who determines the purpose and means of processing the personal information to appoint an Information Protection Officer (‘IPO’)’.

Accordingly whether you are a travel agent, tour operator, PCO, venue, agent of any of these or in any other business and you process (i.e. ‘collect, disseminate or merge’) Personal Information, you need to appoint an IPO. The individual needs to be trained and registered with the Information Protection Regulator (‘IPR’).

As a number of statutes already require you to appoint a compliance person, you may as well appoint such a person as your IPO.

The duties of the IPO are:
o Submitting reports to the IPR
o Drafting a data protection policy which must be (a) understandable & (b) address especially high risk information
o Provide or arrange staff training & create a culture of compliance

Penalties for non-compliance are severe and hence this legislation should not be taken lightly.

The Academy will be requesting Louis the Lawyer to put test questions together in regard to South African acronyms that we will need to comply with for credit points to be awarded.