Protection of Personal Info Bill finalised

Protection of Personal Info Bill finalised

First tabled in Parliament in 2009, the Protection of Personal Information Bill (B9 B – 2012) is currently the longest standing piece of legislation before Parliament. According to MPs, this is the most technical bill ever tabled in Parliament. ETHICORE has been closely involved with the Parliamentary process on the Bill, including client representation and advocacy on the Bill, as well as monitoring the Parliamentary proceedings and deliberations for consideration and finalisation of the Bill.

Overview
The Bill seeks to provide a legislative framework for data privacy in South Africa that is in harmony with international laws and protocols. From 2010 t0 2012, the Bill was assigned to a sub-committee of the Justice Portfolio Committee, but was referred back to the full committee in June 2012.

Status
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development finalised the Protection of Personal Information Bill at its sitting held on 5 September 2012. A sitting of the National Assembly held on 11 September 2012 approved the Bill.

Parliamentary process going forward
The Bill will now be transmitted to the National Council of Province’s Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development for concurrence. The Select Committee may choose to hold public hearings on the Bill – its intention to do so will become clearer once the Committee determines its programme for passing the Bill.

Implementation Issues
Unless the NCOP opts to substantially interrogate the Bill, it is looking increasingly likely that the Bill will be passed by Parliament by the end of 2o12. It will then come into operation on a date determined by the President. The Bill makes provision for a 1 to 3 year implementation period. However, as the Bill is premised on the establishment of an Information Regulator, the time taken to establish the Regulator may further impact the Bill’s implementation – similar to the situation experienced with the coming into force of the Companies Act which was delayed pending the establishment of the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

ETHICORE will continue to monitor the Parliamentary proceedings on the Bill. Kindly feel free to contact us should you have any enquiries about the forthcoming parliamentary process or process to date.

Download the latest finalised version of the Bill here: PoPI Bill_Approved_11Sept2012