This week, the Department of Information Communication Technology hosted a public lecture to interrogate the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) which was signed into law in 2013. The lecture was presented by Information Security/Cybersecurity Consultant, Author, Entrepreneur, and Professional Speaker, Manqoba Mngomezulu.
Mngomezulu’s lecture was titled, “POPIA Act and its Conditions”. Through Microsoft Teams, Mngomezulu presented a detailed account of the implications of POPIA on the university’s activities.
The engagements, which went on way beyond the scheduled hour, provided an opportunity for staff to ask questions about how they could avoid being found on the wrong side of the law. Most of the questions centred around the practical ways in which academics can communicate developments around courses and tests with their students in a compliant way.
“You need to go back to your policies and see how you can be compliant”, Mngomezulu said, emphasising the need to limit the chances of exposing the institution to transgressing POPIA by handling personal information with care.
“Only collect what you are going to use,” he said. “You need a policy on handling and discarding personal information that you have already used.”
He added among other things, that all organisations needed Information Officers and Deputy Information Officers to ensure that there is compliance.