The Protection of Personal Information Act, more commonly referred to as the PoPI act, has been a topic of local discussion since 2013.

The act received Presidential Assent in November of 2013 where it would be signed into law. However, here we are in 2019 and the act has yet to be put into effect.

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has now written to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that he take the necessary steps to ensure that the personal information of citizens is properly protected by the law.

“On a daily basis we are confronted with the truth that data privacy is an important issue in an open, democratic and advancing society. It is even more important in a technologically transforming society and economy, where robust data privacy protection is essential as we embrace the opportunities and face the challenges presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” ISPA wrote in a statement sent to Hypertext.

The association notes that since the act was ascended to the presidency, the Office of the Information Regulator has been established. Parliament has also approved the final regulations promulgated under PoPI.

“ISPA is also requesting that the Office of the Information Regulator – the independent regulator responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Act – receives the support and financing required to be an effective sword and shield for those seeking to enforce or protect their privacy rights,” the association wrote.

While we aren’t counting on the president listening to ISPA, stranger things have happened and the sooner PoPI is commenced, the better.