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Certain sections of the POPI Act will come into force from 1 July, the Presidency announced on Monday.

The Act gives effect to Section 14 of the Constitution, which provides that everyone has the right to privacy.

It has outlined strict rules for how businesses collect, process, store, and share someone's personal information.

Companies will be forced to have proper security measures in place when dealing with people's private information.

Businesses have been given one year to ensure that they comply with the act, the Presidency said in a statement.

Compliance attorney Ilze Luttig Hattingh says the act tackles direct marketing and unwanted spam calls.

She believes the POPI Act will put an end to telemarketers data brokers (entities that collect information about consumers to sell to marketing companies).

The Information Regulator says the bulk of the complaints that it has received from the public relate to direct marketing.

The POPI Act gives the Information Regulator teeth to investigate and enforce the regulations, including the ability to fine non-compliant parties.

The Act makes provision for fines of up to R10 million and a jail sentence of up to 10 years, depending on the infringement.

The spirit of this Act is to further protect our human right to privacy.

Ilze Luttig Hattingh, Director - Novation Consulting

It deals with direct marketing, specifically who can phone you and why.

Ilze Luttig Hattingh, Director - Novation Consulting

The top culprit is direct marketing.

Ilze Luttig Hattingh, Director - Novation Consulting

The POPI Act says you can't just contact someone out of the blue for marketing.

Ilze Luttig Hattingh, Director - Novation Consulting

Data brokering will die a fairly quick death... POPI says if you're collecting someone's information - even if it is from a public record - you have to tell them that you're doing that. They have the option to say no.

Ilze Luttig Hattingh, Director - Novation Consulting

Listen to the discussion on Today with Kieno Kammies:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : New privacy laws could put an end to data brokers, telemarketers and spam calls

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