st ocal tweeps have been expressing their views on the new POPI Act that was set to be implemented on the 1 of July 2021. Masego “Maps” Maponyane has shared his views tweeting “POPI…Finally, I can see all the newsletters and spam mails I’m part of so I can unsubscribe”!
Many others have expressed their concerns about having to bid farewell to the use of memes and gifs as this could land them in trouble.
As of the 1st of July 2021, the South African government passed the “Protection of Personal Information Act” known as POPIA. The act is in full commencement after a one-year grace period which spanned over the 1st July 2020 to the 30th of June 2021.
It is important to idPOPIentify what personal information actually is. We have all shared our information in one way or another, whether it is signing a contract with our banks or cell phone providers, filling forms on retail websites, or giving our ID numbers, spouse details, and home addresses to Home Affairs.
POPIA was implemented to protect the personal information of all individuals in order to put an end to companies misusing personal data. This act does not only apply to big companies but to employers and citizens at large (including our celebrities and social media influencers).
South African Celebs and influencers are well known for pressing that block button or demanding people to pay large sums of money if unlawful information is spread about them (R500,000 in 10 days?! – Bonang Matheba demanded this from Podcaster Rea Gopane). It is safe to say that they woke up with smiles on their faces knowing the POPI Act will put certain individuals in their place. The harshest consequences that can be faced if individuals disobey the new law include imprisonment as well as a R10,000,000 fine (Read carefully).
Social media is a platform full of personal information, however, social media influencers must still adhere to the POPI Act. As people who make a living by taking pictures on a daily, new considerations need to be made. As per the act, individuals who have not consented to be photographed, even if they are in the background, are protected by this new law. No matter how many coins or likes are racked by the post, if there was no consent from other parties, the photograph must be deleted. Celebrities and influencers need to be conscious of what they post when they take photographs or videos in public places.
If you receive 2 million emails about the POPI ACT, make sure you unsubscribe to any companies that have access to your personal information without your consent!
Keyboard kings and queens, it’s time to abide by the law!