What is the PAIA Act?
The Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (commonly known as PAIA Act) is South Africa’s access to information law that ” gives effect to the constitutional right of access to any information held by the State and any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.”
Simply put, a consumer can request any of their personal information that any private or public company/state has on file. For example, customers on your mailing or communications databases can at any time request the information you have on them.
You need to know the below criteria to ensure you follow the correct steps:
- A person needs to request their record or information.
- You need to understand what the record is.
- Know the situations when you need to release the information requested.
Why should you care about the PAIA Act?
There is a direct link to the POPI Act. Section 17 of POPIA states “A responsible party must maintain the documentation of all processing operations under its responsibility as referred to in section 14 or 51 of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.”
This means that POPIA requires you to provide additional information in your PAIA manual. While there isn’t a clear deadline on PAIA some companies may fall into their “exempt” category. When it comes to business it is always safer to avoid any possibility of fines or penalties by having a PAIA Manual available.
What is an Access to Information Manual and how do you comply?
You can ensure your business is complying with the PAIA Act by having a PAIA Manual.
A PAIA manual (or Access to Information Manual) explains how a consumer can request any records held by your company. You may need to have one if you are a sole proprietor, partnership, close corporation, private or public company, business trust, bodies corporate or co-operative.
Remember this manual needs to be made available to the public via a link on your website.
If you need any further assistance or guidance, reach out to our digital marketing experts.