The Protection of Personal Information Bill which has been a while in the making stands before parliament ahead of being passed into an Act. This Bill which has been drafted in line with International laws will see the protection of consumers from unsolicited e-mails and text messages from marketers who bombard with offers and other advertising material.
Director at Werksmans attorneys Neil Kirby says the ideal that South Africa has become a society of information trading is one of the factors that prompted the need for such a Bill. Kirby unpacked the significance and relevance of this Bill to consumers in an interview on the SABC's Morning Live programme this morning.
He says the Bill will fall in line with the consumer protection act which seeks to protect consumers, however, once passed the Protection of Personal Information Bill seeks to prevent the exchange of information such as a consumers cellphone number for market purposes.
Kirby notes that once this Bill is passed and approved by Parliament the consumer still has a responsibility of some sort. "You shouldn’t be handing over information that allows for that kind of contact, one needs to think do I really need to give my contact details or cellphone numbers in order to purchase groceries."
The Bill, currently in its eighth draft, is constantly progressing to allow for public input as well as stakeholders. However, minor details such as the opt in/opt out aspect remain the balance as it still remains unclear who has the obligation to receive and send information. – Edited by Luvuyo Mdeni
Click below to watch full interview