Alex Granger remembered / POPIA and speakers

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The PSASA Johannesburg Chapter Meeting, held on 28 June, was part memorial to the late Alex Granger and part preparation for the POPI Act to be introduced on 1 July.

Our anything-but-boring Chapter President, Arthur Goldstuck, shared that we were rotating emcees at our chapter meetings so that we did not have to listen to him all the time. He welcomed Steve Johnson as this month’s emcee.

Steve compared us to an elephant herd, and like elephants, everyone belongs, and in our supportive and nurturing ways, no one is left behind. With the loss of one of our most treasured herd, a loved and beloved member, Steve led us to reflect on our special memories of Alex Granger.

Arthur, Joni Peddi, and Siphiwe Moyo shared their personal memories to honour Alex. They talked about his humility, how he wanted to be part of the PSASA family, and that he was so happy to be part of our herd. With Alex, what you saw was what you got. His writing was admired. His other talents were appreciated. These included his singing, a sense of humour, forever smiling, always laughing, his exuberance, his joy of life, and his ability to celebrate with others.  He had a brilliant mind, unflustered, logical, and was a superb conversationalist. A good friend to many, an overall good human being, kind and considerate with a pure heart.

Siphiwe expressed his gratitude for this incredible community for helping him feel safe and for everyone looking out for each other.

Alex left us with a legacy, one of embodying that sense of community. Of belonging to the PSASA herd.

Nicky Bush introduced our guest speaker Ross Saunders with glowing accolades on a personal and a professional level. Ross spoke to us on the implications of and preparation for the POPI Act.

Bryan Turner asked Ross insightful questions, to which he responded with useful detail and practical information.

Ross introduced us to the five role players in the POPI Act: the data subjects, the responsible party or entity, the operator, the information officer, and the regulator.

Lois Wagner thanked Ross by summarising the learning in this rhyme:

The man with a plat

is anything but fat

He demystifies data privacy

with the responsible entity

operator info officer roles    

and all the position controls

code of conduct not needed

but the obligations to be heeded

principal based law to follow   

some of it is hard to swallow

no check-list can make us cry

It makes it harder for us to comply

need proof of affirmative consent

Optin campaign can be a fun event

If a customer has paid for a sale

You need to keep a solid trail

No response to one mail is an opt-out

It may not be a loss, please don’t pout

Avoid all the many fly-by-nights

Know your law and know your rights

Have a privacy policy and a few others

Too many of these only smothers

Schedule of operators and systems used

How you use data on a template fused

Different systems from services overseas

Look at the DA and don’t be afraid or freeze

Be aware of purchasing a mailing list

Consent is needed so please insist

There are criminal penalties for leaked info

Make sure that you close that possible window 

If you are hired to conduct an event

Make sure the company has the consent

Process info and enter into a contract

If you use the info you need to interact

Ross is happy to help us by training

So just get going and stop complaining

And then just one more final thing

Privacy policy on your web to avoid the sting  

There were so many useful nuggets that one just had to be there to gain the full benefit.

If you want to know more or attend a workshop with Ross, please contact him directly.

Arthur made a couple of public service announcements

  • Justin Cohen kindly offered to pass on a desk microphone and mini projector to members of the chapter. Thank you, Justin, for your generosity.
  • The fun award, the Overachiever Award, was awarded to Lois Wagner for her instant rhyme/poem/lullaby .
  • The serious award, the Member Appreciation or Spotlight Award, was awarded to Adele du Rand, for her achievement in writing the book, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

After a short break, Ian Bratt introduced our panel discussion with Chris Vermeulen and Adele du Rand, moderated by Arthur. This panel was focused on the practical application of the POPI act and how to integrate it into your business.

A good place to start – https://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/blog/popi/

A couple of tips:

  • Prevention is better than cure.
  • Start somewhere.
  • All information to be disposed of when your project is complete and physical documents to be shredded.
  • Do not send mails Cc or even Bcc rather use a mail merge system.
  • Safeguard and protect and wipe your phone – Kaspersky is one tool you can use. There are others.
  • Secure and encrypt your hard drive on your computer – Bitlocker and VeraCrypt are two tools. There are others.
  • If you are destroying a hard drive, wipe it three times and put a nail through it.
  • Password management is critical. Use a unique password for every site. Bitwarden is one place to keep your passwords. Remove passwords from Google.
  • You must have an anti-virus package on your computer. Avira is one.
  • Run an update every month.
  • With Gmail – use mailvelope to encrypt Gmails. The recipient must also have mailvelope.
  • Keep a schedule of all your operators who and what is stored
  • Keep a track record of all your POPI related actions – how you will protect your data and what actions you have taken. Keep it all in one central file.

Yoke van Dam thanked the panel for their added value.

Steve closed the meeting as we all rushed off to become POPI compliant.


Written by Lois Wagner. Edited by Bryan Turner and Arthur Goldstuck.

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