Information Regulator conducting probe into data brokers

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The Chairperson of the Information Regulator, Advocate Pansy Tlakula has confirmed that the regulator is conducting an investigation into data brokers.

Data brokers specialise in gathering personal data of individuals and selling it to businesses.

The regulator is currently trying to establish what constitutes electronic communication in the POPI Act, as companies have exploited the lack of clarity to contact consumers without their consent.

Tlakula says regardless of the investigations outcome, businesses need to obtain consumers contact details lawfully.

She says, “Even if we come to the conclusion that a telephone does not constitute an electronic communication, that does not mean that telemarketers can go and buy our personal information and use it. The law is very clear.”

“They have to obtain our contact details lawfully, unless of course the subject has made their personal information deliberately public or if the personal information is contained in a public record, so those are the only exceptions. “

Unsolicited telemarketing calls, is the POPI Act regulating this exploitation?