The Protection of Personal Information Act

To find more customers I send marketing brochures to email addresses that I get from a database supplier. I received a really angry response from someone saying that I’m committing a crime by breaking some law called “Poppy” and that she’s going to report me because she never gave me consent to send her emails. Is this seriously a thing?

Actually, yes – POPI is a “thing”. The Protection of Personal Information Act requires you to ensure that the consumers you market to have given your consent before you send them your brochures. If you don’t have consent you can contact them once – to ask for consent. If they decline then you can’t include them in your mailing lists. You can, however, market to consumers with whom you have transacted with before provided that you’re marketing similar products and services to what they received from you in the past and that you give them the opportunity to effortlessly unsubscribe at any time. POPI is not yet in effect, which means you’re in the clear at the moment. But it’s a good idea to start reviewing your processes and getting your consents in place so that you’re ready when the Act is finally operational.

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