POPIA vs. GDPR Compliance : What You Need to Know

POPIA Compliance

The South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act also known as – POPIA, focus to give the citizens of South Africa more control over their personal data and requires any organization that processes personal information in South Africa must have to protect that data.

The POPIA give attention to the  data protection rights for data subjects, which will effective from July 1, 2021.

The POPIA is quite similar to the EU’s GDPR and derives from many of the foundational principles.

Personal Data – POPIA vs. GDPR

POPIA applies to the personal data of any individual, regardless of their nationality. On the other-hand GDPR is only designed to protect EU citizens, the POPIA covers anyone whose personal data is processed within South African territory or by a South African undertaking.

Both POPIA and GDPR split the definition of data into personal information and Sensitive data. While POPIA also assign criminal offenses to sensitive and vulnerable data.

However, Article 4(1) of the GDPR states that a data subject is ‘an identified or identifiable natural person.’

Section 1 of the POPIA states that a data subject means the person whom the personal information relates. Additionally, POPIA also states a person as meaning a natural person or juristic person.

Data Protection – POPIA vs. GDPR

POPIA and GDPR both summarize data security requirements by stating you must implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data.

Under GDPR Data Protection Officers needed and in POPIA an Information Officer needed by all companies and organizations, although both Data Protection officer and Information Officer have different roles and responsibilities. Additionally, POPIA also requires companies, industries and organizations to appoint a Deputy Information Officer.

Breach Reporting – POPIA vs. GDPR

Procedure for Data breach reporting is similar in both POPIA and GDPR data privacy law.

But, POPIA states that becoming aware of the breach you must do this as soon as possible.

GDPR, you have limited time period of 72 hours to notify your supervisory authority.

Penalties – POPIA vs. GDPR

The financial consequences for a POPIA violation have a maximum penalty of $10 million ZAR i.e.South African rands

While GDPR fine, which can reach up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover.

GDPR penalty majorly focus more directly on non-compliance.

But, POPIA penalty apply to non-compliance as well as range of other offenses such as; including hindering, obstructing, or unlawfully influencing enforcement officials failing to attend court hearings lying under oath. 

Under more severe cases and individuals can be held criminally responsible and sentenced to prison for up to 10 years.

Right to Data Portability  – POPIA vs. GDPR

GDPR provide individuals with the right to Data Portability.

Unlike the GDPR, POPIA does not refer to the right to data portability.

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