The Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA) came into effect on 1 July 2020. Estate Agencies and attorney firms that deal with the conveyancing process are among those that will have to rethink how they collect, store, use and delete (or destroy) personal information.
If one looks at the Act, consent is one of the driving factors of compliance. That is, a data subject (the person from whom information is being collected) must provide their consent for such information to be used by the Responsible Party (the person or entity collecting and using the information). Personal Information that is typically collected and processed during the conveyancing process includes contact information, proof of address and identification of both the buyer and the seller.
However, according to an article by Pfuxi Rikhotso (2020), “Consent is not expressly needed in all cases, as the personal information referred to above can be shared with related parties, such as the bond registration attorney and the banks involved in a certain transfer, with the purpose of achieving the mandate of the Estate Agent and the Conveyancer, without the Data Subject’s consent.” Rikhotso further states that Data Subjects may request all original documents, including the title deed of the property, be returned to their rightful owners once they have served their purpose.