It is important to understand the legal and practical implications of the new laws governing the gathering, use, and storage of consumer information in place.
POPIA, the Protection of Personal Information Act, is a law designed to protect peoples’ private, personal information.
Although it’s been a long time coming, many businesses are unprepared. Few have the technology they need to be compliant.
It is just as important to equip your business with the tools you need to meet new obligations as it is to get sound legal advice.
Here are some practical tips to help match your technology to new regulations.
PRACTICAL POPIA TIP #1: GET YOUR STORAGE SORTED
Where and how you are going to store and protect sensitive data is the first important question.
Keeping customer, supplier or employee data “backed up” on an external drive is ill-advised, impractical, and illegal. You could be deemed negligent, and thus responsible, for not doing your part to protect that info.
It also puts your team under unnecessary pressure. The storage devices might fail. There’s also the new legal requirement to capture and update user preferences in near real-time. Capturing every click that changes a cookie preference in real time is impossible if you are trying to do so manually.
Moving to a Cloud-based system is an effective way to reduce that pressure and risk. A virtual system removes the need for a physical server room. In addition, it equips you with backups and built-in redundancy designed to store data securely.
Integrating cost-effective, safe storage capacity across your business is almost mandatory given the demands of POPIA. So look to the Cloud.
A CTO KNOWS: The Cloud offers almost unlimited storage built around your needs.
PRACTICAL POPIA TIP #2: TIGHTEN UP SECURITY
The first P in POPIA is for protection. But what does it take to protect user data?
Again, the Cloud is a good place to start.
Physical storage puts you at risk of theft, or loss. Even a physical server room can be vulnerable. However, the Cloud protects data by moving it onto remote, online servers that are as designed to be extremely secure.
Most Cloud offerings include daily backups, password protection, restricted access, built-in fail safes, and evolving firewalls. Because they add to your security they give you a competitive edge, especially if you have teams working remotely.
A CTO KNOWS: Cloud isn’t only about storage – it’s a security must-have.
PRACTICAL POPIA TIP #3: DELIVER A SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE
It’s easy to focus on the “background” elements of POPIA, but what about your customer-facing digital properties?
Updating apps, websites, and even customer service scripts can help visitors feel that their information is secure.
But a POPIA-compliance pop up is not enough. In addition, everything needs to be secure. That means the systems needed to store customer data in real time, across multiple properties, should already be in place.
For businesses that are trying to catch up to digital leaders, the new laws are an ideal opportunity to invest in the integrated data systems, or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions that make a safe, seamless customer experience possible.
A CTO KNOWS: Updating the digital system in sync with new regulations can enhance customer experience.
The Last Word
Becoming POPIA compliant is a new challenge. However, you can use these new regulations as a springboard to success. By embracing technology that gives your business secure storage, you can stay with the law and actually gain a competitive edge.