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National Tertiary Education Union

The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act sets conditions for how you can process information. It has been signed by the President and is law.

It considers your personal information as "precious goods" and therefore aims to bestow upon you, as the owner of your personal information, certain rights of protection and the ability to exercise control over it.

Examples of an individual’s “personal info” can include ID and or passport numbers, date of birth and age, phone numbers/ email addresses, physical addresses, gender and race, photos and recordings, marital– and family relations, criminal records, private correspondence, financial information, education information, employment history and salary information, physical and mental health information and membership to organisations and unions.

It must however be noted that some personal information, on its own, does not necessarily allow a third party to confirm or infer someone's identity to the extent that this information can be used/abused for other purposes. The combination of someone's name and phone number and/or email address for example is a lot more significant than just a name or phone number on its own. As such the Act defines a "unique identifier" to be data that "uniquely identifies that data subject in relation to that responsible party".

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