South Africans flood Information Regulator with unlawful direct marketing complaints

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Hate getting unsolicited direct marking calls from insurers? So do many other South Africans, 107 of whom have reported this to the new Information Regulator (IR).

The IR was established on 1st December 2016 to monitor and enforce compliance by public and private bodies with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (POPI), among other things.

Among its functions is to look into reports of unlawful communications between companies and the public.

The IR is not yet fully functional, but has to date received 107 complaints relating to the unlawful processing of personal information and access to information.

“An analysis of these complaints reveal that a majority of the complaints relate to the following industries: banking, insurance and telecommunications. It should be noted that most of these complaints relate to direct marketing through unsolicited electronic communications,” the IR said.

IR has also been engaging with a few bodies and companies over the last eight months. Some of these include:

  • South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC);
  • National Consumer Commission (NCC);
  • Banking Association of South Africa (BASA);
  • Electoral Commission (IEC);
  • South African Editors Forum (SANEF);
  • FNB

Training on the POPI act has also been provided at the University of Mpumalanga, Registrar’s Forum of the Council for Built Environment and the Legal Practitioners Forum representing Higher Education Institutions, among others.

[Image – CC antonynjoro]