Sections 100 – 106 of the POPI Act deal with instances where parties would find themselves “guilty of an offense”. The most relevant of these are:
- Any person who hinders, obstructs or unlawfully influences the Regulator;
- A responsible party which fails to comply with an enforcement notice;
- Offences by witnesses, for example, lying under oath or failing to attend hearings;
- Unlawful Acts by responsible party in connection with account numbers;
- Unlawful Acts by third parties in connection with account number.
Section 107 of the Act details which penalties apply to respective offenses.
For the more serious offences the maximum penalties are a R10 million fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or to both a fine and such imprisonment.
For the less serious offences, for example, hindering an official in the execution of a search and seizure warrant the maximum penalty would be a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the POPI Act could have dire consequences.
This article must be read in conjunction with the POPI Act which can be downloaded from Act No. 4 of 2013 : Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013