Privacy policy.

1. PREAMBLE

The right to privacy is a basic human right, recognised and protected by the South African Constitution and POPIA. POPIA aims to protect individuals privacy through providing guidelines which are intended to be applied to the storage, processing and use of personal information.  

2. SCOPE

The scope of the policy is defined by the provisions of POPIA and will include the personal information of all data subjects. It includes AAGroup’s responsibility in respect  of third party operators, who process personal information on behalf of AAGroup in terms of a contract or mandate, without being under the direct authority of AAGroup.

The Privacy policy will include the following policies:

  • Information technology security policy
  • Data security

3. DEFINITIONS

Information Officer means the Officer responsible for ensuring AAGroup’s compliance with POPIA. Processing of personal information means the act of processing information and any activity or any set of operations, whether or not by automatic means, concerning personal information and includes:

  1. the collection, receipt, recording, organisation, collation, storage, updating or modification, retrieval, alteration, consultation or use
  2. dissemination by means of transmission, distribution or making available in any other form, or
  3. merging, linking, as well as any restriction, degradation, erasure or destruction of information
 

Personal Information means personal information as referenced by the 48 data elements defined in the POPI Act relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where applicable, an existing juristic person (company or legal entity).

Data Subject means the individuals’ or juristic person who the personal information relates to.

Record means any recorded information, regardless of form or medium, including:

  1. Writing on any material
  2. Information produced, recorded or stored by means of any tape-recorder, computer equipment, whether hardware or software or both, or other device, and any material subsequently derived from information so produced, recorded or stored
  3. Label, marking or other writing that identifies or describes anything of which it forms part, or to which it is attached by any means
  4. Book, map, plan, graph or drawing
  5. Photograph, film, negative, tape or other device in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable, with or without the aid of some other equipment, of being reproduced
 

Filing System means any structured set of personal information, whether centralised, decentralised or dispersed on a functional or geographical basis, which is accessible according to specific criteria.

Unique Identifier means any identifier that is assigned and relating  to a data subject and used by AAGroup for the purpose of processing data. 

De-Identify means to delete any information that: identifies a data subject or which can be used by a reasonably foreseeable method to identify, or when linked to other information, that identifies the data subject.

Re-Identify means to resurrect any de-identified information that identifies the data subject, or can be used or manipulated by a reasonably foreseeable method to identify the data subject.

Consent means any voluntary, specific and informed expression of will in terms of which permission is given for the processing of personal information.

Direct Marketing means to approach a data subject, either in person or by mail or electronic communication, for the direct or indirect purpose of:

  1. Promoting or offering to supply, in the ordinary course of business, any goods or services to the data subject, or
  2. Requesting the data subject to provide Personal Information of any kind for any reason
 

Biometrics means a technique of personal identification that is based on physical, physiological or behavioural characterisation including blood typing, fingerprinting, DNA analysis, retinal scanning and voice recognition.

4. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to protect AAGroup from the compliance risks associated with the protection of personal information which includes:

  1. Breaches of confidentiality – e.g. AAGroup could suffer loss in revenue where it is found that the personal information of data subjects has been shared or disclosed inappropriately
  2. Failing to offer choice – e.g. all data subjects should be free to choose how and for what purpose AAGroup uses information relating to them
  3. Reputational damage- AAGroup could suffer reputatational damage following an adverse event such as a computer hacker distributing or deleting personal information held by AAGroup.
 

This policy demonstrates AAGroup’s commitment to protecting the privacy rights of data subjects in the following manner:

  1. Through stating desired behaviour and directing compliance with the provisions of POPIA and best practice.
  2. By cultivating an organisational culture that recognises privacy as a valuable human right.
  3. By developing and implementing internal controls for the purpose of managing the compliance risk associated with the protection of personal information.
  4. By creating business practices that will provide reasonable assurance that the rights of data subjects are protected and balanced with the legitimate business needs of AAGroup
  5. By assigning specific duties and responsibilities to control owners, including the appointment of an Information Officer in order to protect the interests of AAGroup and data subjects
  6. By raising awareness through training and providing guidance to individuals who process personal information so that they can act confidently and consistently

5. APPLICATION

This policy and its guiding principles applies to:

  1. AAGroup governing body
  2. All departments, business units and divisions of AAGroup
  3. All employees, independent contractors and interns
  4. All third party contractors, suppliers and other persons acting on behalf of AAGroup
 

The policy’s guiding principles find application in all situations and must be read in conjunction with POPIA.  

The legal duty to comply with POPIA’s provisions is activated in any situation where there is a processing of personal information, entered into a record by or for a responsible person who is domiciled in South Africa.

Threfore POPIA does not apply in situations where the processing of personal information is concluded in the course of purely personal or household activities, or where the personal information has been de-identified, became public knowledge or where the data subject was anonamised.

5.1. RIGHTS OF DATA SUBJECTS

Where appropriate, AAGroup will ensure that its clients and customers are made aware of the rights conferred upon them as data subjects and will ensure that it gives effect to the following rights:

a. The right to access Personal Information
AAGroup recognises that a data subject has the right to establish whether AAGroup holds personal information related to him, her or it including the right to request access to that personal information. AAGroup will provide a “Personal Information Request Form” to be completed as part of the request.

b. The right to have Personal Information corrected or deleted
The data subject has the right to request, where necessary, that his, her or its personal information must be corrected or deleted where AAGroup is no longer authorised to retain the personal information.

c. The right to object to the processing of Personal Information
The data subject has the right, on reasonable grounds, to object to the processing of his, her or its personal information. In such circumstances, AAGroup will give due consideration to the request and the requirements of POPIA and may cease to use or disclose the data subject’s personal information and may, subject to any statutory and contractual record keeping requirements, also approve the destruction of the personal information where applicable.

d. The right to object to Direct Marketing
The data subject has the right to object to the processing of his, her or its personal information for purposes of direct marketing by means of unsolicited electronic, written or audible communications.

e. The right to complain to the Information Regulator
The data subject has the right to submit a complaint to the Information Regulator regarding an alleged infringement of any of the rights protected under POPIA and to institute civil proceedings regarding the alleged non-compliance with the protection of his, her or its personal information.

f. The right to be informed
The data subject has the right to be notified that his, her or its personal information is being collected by AAGroup. The data subject also has the right to be notified in any situation where AAGroup  has reasonable grounds to believe that the personal information of the data subject has been accessed or acquired by an unauthorised person.

5.2 General guiding principles

All employees and persons acting on behalf of AAGroup will at all times be subject to, and act in accordance with, the following guiding principles:

5.2.1 Accountability

Failing to comply with POPIA could potentially damage AAGroup’s reputation or expose AAGroup to  civil claims for damages. The protection of personal information is therefore everybody in AAGroup’s responsibility.

AAGroup will ensure that the provisions of POPIA and the guiding principles outlined in this policy are complied with through the encouragement and monitoring of desired behaviour. AAGroup will take appropriate actions, which may include disciplinary action, against those individuals who through their intentional or negligent actions and / or omissions fail to comply with the principles and responsibilities outlined in this policy.

5.2.2 Processing limitation

AAGroup will ensure that personal information under its control is processed:

  1. in a fair, lawful and non-excessive manner
  2. only with the informed consent of the data subject
  3. only for a specifically defined purpose
  4. only for the duration required to provide service to Clients
 

AAGroup will inform the data subject of the reasons for collecting his, her or its personal information and obtain written consent prior to processing personal information. Alternatively, where services or transactions are concluded over the telephone or electronic video feed, AAGroup  will maintain a voice recording of the stated purpose for collecting the personal information followed by the data subject’s subsequent consent. AAGroup will under no circumstances distribute or share personal information between separate legal entities, associated companies (such as subsidiary companies) or with any individuals that are not directly involved with facilitating the purpose for which the information was originally collected.

5.2.3 Purpose specification

All of AAGroup’s business departments  and operations must be informed by the Head of department to allow for  transparency of the process. AAGroup  will process personal information only for specific, explicitly defined and legitimate reasons and will inform data subjects of these reasons prior to collecting or recording the data subject’s personal information.

5.2.4 Further processing limitation

Personal information will not be processed for a secondary purpose unless that processing is compatible with the original purpose. Therefore, where AAGroup seeks to process personal information it holds for a purpose other than the original purpose or not compatible with the original purpose, AAGroup will first obtain additional consent from the data subject.

5.2.5 Information quality

AAGroup will take all reasonable steps to ensure that all personal information collected is complete and  accurate.

5.2.6 Open communication

AAGroup will ensure that it establishes and maintains a “contact us” facility, for instance via its website or through an electronic helpdesk, for data subjects who want to:

  1. enquire whether AAGroup holds related personal information, or
  2. request access to related personal information, or
  3. request AAGroup to update or correct related personal information, or
  4. make a complaint concerning the processing of personal information
 

Security safeguards: AAGroup shall apply internationally acceptable security controls commensurate with the sensitivity and privacy nature of the information being stored.

Therefore AAGroup will:

  • manage the security of its filing system to ensure that personal information is adequately protected.
  • ensure security measures are applied in a context-sensitive manner.
  • ensure all paper and electronic records comprising personal information are securely stored and made accessible only to authorised individuals.
  • ensure all new employees will sign employment contracts containing contractual terms for the use and storage of employee information.
  • confidentiality clauses will be included to reduce the risk of unauthorised disclosures of personal information.
  • all existing employees will sign an addendum to their employment containing the relevant consent and confidentiality clauses.
  • Third-party Suppliers will sign declarations with AAGroup where they pledge their commitment to POPIA and the lawful processing of any personal information pursuant to the agreement.
 

5.2.7 Data subject participation

A data subject may request the correction or deletion of his / her / its personal information held by AAGroup who will provide the facility  to do so.

Where applicable, AAGroup will include a link to unsubscribe from any of its electronic newsletters or related marketing activities.

5.3 Information officers

AAGroup has appointed an Information Officer who will be responsible for ensuring compliance with POPIA. Mr. Leon du Toit, the General Manager of AAGroup will assume the role of the Information Officer. AAGroup will register the Information Officer with the South African Information Regulator established under POPIA prior to performing his or her duties.

5.4 Specific duties and responsibilities

5.4.1 Governing Body

AAGroup’s Executive Committee cannot delegate its accountability and is ultimately answerable for ensuring that AAGroup meets its legal obligations in terms of POPIA. The Executive Committee may however delegate some of its responsibilities in terms of POPIA to management or other capable individuals.

5.4.2 The Executive Committee is responsible for ensuring that:

  1. AAGroup appoints an Information Officer when legally required and that
  2. All persons responsible for the processing of personal information on behalf of AAGroup
  • are appropriately trained and supervised to do so
  • understand that they are contractually obligated to protect the personal information they come into contact with
  • are aware that a wilful or negligent breach of this policy’s processes and procedures may lead to disciplinary action being taken against them

(iv)    Ensure that data subjects who want to make enquires about their personal information are made aware of the procedure that needs to be followed should they wish to do so

  • Will schedule periodic POPI audits in order to accurately assess and review the ways in which AAGroup collects, holds, uses, shares, discloses, destroys and processes personal information
 

 

 

5.4.3 The Information Officer is responsible for:

  1. Taking steps to ensure AAGroup’s reasonable compliance with the provision of POPIA
  2. Keeping Executive Committee updated about AAGroup’s information protection responsibilities under POPIA. In the case of a security breach, the Information Officer must inform and advise Executive Committee of their obligations pursuant to POPIA
  3. Continually analysing privacy regulations and aligning them with AAGroup’s personal information processing procedures. This will include reviewing AAGroup’s information protection procedures and related policies
  4. Ensuring that POPI audits are scheduled and conducted on a regular basis
  5. Ensuring that AAGroup makes it convenient for data subjects who want to update their personal information or submit POPIA related complaints to AAGroup i.e. maintaining a “contact us” facility on AAGroup ’s website
  6. Approving any contracts entered into with operators, employees and other third parties which may have an impact on the personal information held by AAGroup. This will include overseeing the amendment of AAGroup’s employment contracts and other service level agreements
  7. Encouraging compliance with the conditions required for the lawful processing of personal information
  8. Ensuring that employees and other persons acting on behalf of AAGroup are fully aware of the risks associated with the processing of personal information and that they remain informed about AAGroup ’s security controls
  9. Organising and overseeing the awareness training of employees and other individuals involved in the processing of personal information on behalf of AAGroup
  10. Addressing employees’ POPIA related questions
  11. Addressing all POPIA related requests and complaints made by AAGroup ’s data subjects.
  12. Working with the Information Regulator in relation to any ongoing investigations. The Information Officers will therefore act as the contact point for the Information Regulator authority on issues relating to the processing of personal information and will consult with the Information Regulator where appropriate, with regard to any other matter
  13. The Information Officer / acting Information Officer will appoint relevant Head of Departments to assit in his / her responsibilities
 

5.4.4 The IT Manager is responsible for ensuring AAGroup’s:

  1. IT infrastructure, filing systems and any other devices used for processing personal information meet acceptable industry security standards.
  2. electronically held personal information is kept only on designated drives and servers and uploaded only to approved cloud computing services.
  3. servers containing personal information are sited in a secure location, away from the general office space
  4. all electronically stored personal information is backed-up and tested on a regular basis.
  5. all back-ups containing personal information are protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts.
  6. personal information being transferred electronically is encrypted or password protected. 
  7. all servers and computers containing personal information are protected by a firewall and industry related security software to ensure reasonable precausion is taken to protect such personal information.
  8. Performing regular IT audits to ensure that the security of AAGroup ’s hardware and software systems are functioning properly
  9. regular IT audits are performed to verify whether electronically stored personal information has been accessed or acquired by any unauthorised persons.
  10. a proper due diligence  is performed prior to contracting with operators or any other third-party service providers to process personal information on AAGroup ’s behalf
 

5.4.5 The Creative Solution’s Hub is responsible for:

  1. Approving and maintaining the protection of personal information statements and disclaimers that are displayed on AAGroup’s website, including those attached to communications such as emails and electronic newsletters
  2. Addressing any personal information protection queries from journalists or media outlets such as newspapers
  3. Where necessary, working with persons acting on behalf of AAGroup to ensure that any outsourced marketing initiatives comply with POPIA.
 

5.4.6 Employees and Independent Contractors acting on behalf of AAGroup: 

  1. will, during the course of the performance of their services, gain access to and become acquainted with the personal information of certain data subjects.
  2. are required to treat personal information as a confidential business asset and to respect the privacy of data subjects.
  3. may not directly or indirectly, utilise, disclose or make public in any manner to any person or third party, either within AAGroup or externally, any personal information, unless such information is already publicly known or the disclosure is necessary in order for the employee or person to perform his or her duties
  4. must request assistance from their line manager or the Information Officer if they are unsure about any aspect related to the protection of a data subject’s personal information
  5. will only process personal information where:
  • The data subject, or a competent person where the data subject is a child, consents to the processing
  • The processing is necessary to carry out actions for the conclusion or performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party
  • The processing complies with an obligation imposed by law on the responsible party
  • The processing protects a legitimate interest of the data subject
  • The processing is necessary for pursuing the legitimate interests of AAGroup or of a third party to whom the information is supplied
  • The data subject clearly understands why and for what purpose his, her or its personal information is being collected
  • The data subject has granted AAGroup with explicit written or verbally recorded consent to process his, her or its personal information
  1. will consequently, prior to processing any personal information, obtain a specific and informed expression of will from the data subject, in terms of which permission is given for the processing of personal information.

Informed consent is therefore

  • when the data subject clearly understands for what purpose his, her or its personal information is needed and who it will be shared with.
  • can be obtained in written form which includes any appropriate electronic medium that is accurately and readily reducible to printed form. Alternatively, AAGroup will keep a voice recording of the data subject’s consent in instances where transactions are concluded telephonically or via electronic video feed.

Consent to process a data subject’s personal information will be obtained directly from the data subject  except where:

  1. the personal information has been made public
  2. where valid written consent has been given by the Client on behalf of program participants
  3. the information is necessary for effective law enforcement

Employees and other persons acting on behalf of AAGroup will under no circumstances:

  1. Process or have access to personal information where such processing or access is not a requirement to perform their respective work-related tasks or duties
  2. Save copies of personal information directly to their own private computers, laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smart phones. All personal information must be accessed and updated from AAGroup ’s central database or a dedicated server.
  3. Share personal information informally. In particular, personal information should never be sent by email, as this form of communication is not secure
  4. Where access to personal information is required, this may be requested from the relevant line manager or the Information Officer
  5. Transfer personal information outside of South Africa without the express permission from the data subject.

Employees and independent contractors acting on behalf of AAGroup are responsible for:

  1. Keeping all personal information that they come into contact with secure, by following the guidelines outlined within this policy
  2. Ensuring that personal information is held in as few places as is necessary. No unnecessary additional records, filing systems and data sets should therefore be created
  3. Ensuring that personal information is encrypted prior to sending or sharing the information electronically

The IT Manager will support employees and where required, other persons acting on behalf of AAGroup with the sending or sharing of personal information to or with authorised external persons:

  1. Ensuring that all computers, laptops and devices such as tablets, flash drives and smartphones that store personal information are password protected and never left unattended. Passwords must be changed regularly and may not be shared with unauthorised persons
  2. Ensuring that their computer screens and other devices are switched off or locked when not in use or when away from their desks
  3. Ensuring that where personal information is stored on removable storage medias such as external drives, CDs or DVDs that these are kept locked away securely when not being used
  4. Ensuring that where personal information is stored on paper, that such hard copy records are kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot access it. For instance, in a locked drawer of a filing cabinet
  5. Ensuring that where personal information has been printed out, that the paper printouts are not left unattended where unauthorised individuals could see or copy them i.e. close to the printer
  6. Taking reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is kept accurate and up to date i.e.confirming a data subject’s contact details when the client or customer phones or communicates via email. Where a data subject’s information is found to be out of date, authorisation must first be obtained from the relevant line manager or the Information Officer to update the information accordingly
  7. Taking reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is stored only for as long as it is needed or required in terms of the purpose for which it was originally collected. Where personal information is no longer required, authorisation must first be obtained from the relevant line manager or the Information Officer to delete or dispose of the personal information in the appropriate manner
  8. Undergoing POPIA Awareness training from time to time
  9. Where an employee or a person acting on behalf of AAGroup becomes aware or suspicious of any security breach such as the unauthorised access, interference, modification, destruction or the unsanctioned disclosure of personal information, he or she must immediately report this event or suspicion to the Information Officer.

5.5 POPI audit

AAGroup’s Information Officer will schedule periodic POPI audits. The purpose of a POPI audit is to:

  1. Identify the processes used to collect, record, store, disseminate and destroy personal information
  2. Determine the flow of personal information throughout AAGroup i.e. AAGroup ’s various business units, divisions, brands and other associated organisations
  3. Redefine the purpose for gathering and processing personal information
  4. Ensure that the processing parameters are still adequately limited
  5. Ensure that new data subjects are made aware of the processing of their personal information
  6. Re-establish the rationale for any further processing where information is received via a third party
  7. Verify the quality and security of personal information
  8. Monitor the extend of compliance with POPIA and this policy
  9. Monitor the effectiveness of internal controls established to manage AAGroup ’s POPI related compliance risk
 

In performing the POPI audit, the Information Officer will liaise with line managers in order to identify areas within AAGroup ’s operation that are most vulnerable or susceptible to the unlawful processing of personal information. The Information Officer will be permitted direct access to and have demonstrable support from line managers and AAGroup ’s governing body in performing his / her duties.

5.6 Request to access personal information procedure

Data subjects have the right to:

  1. Request what personal information AAGroup holds about them and why
  2. Request access to their personal information
  3. Be informed how to keep their personal information up to date
 

Access to information requests can be made by email, addressed to the Information Officer. Once the request has been received, the Information Officer will verify the identity of the data subject prior to handing over any personal information. The Information Officer will process all requests within a reasonable time not longer than thirty days from request was received.

5.7 POPI complaints procedure

Data subjects have the right to complain in instances where any of their rights under POPIA have been infringed upon. AAGroup will address all POPI related complaints in accordance with the following procedure:

  1. Complaints must be submitted to AAGroup in writing. Where so required, the Information Officer will provide the data subject with a “POPI Complaint Form”
  2. Where the complaint has been received by any person other than the Information Officer, that person will ensure that the full details of the complaint reach the Information Officer within one working day
  3. The Information Officer will provide the complainant with a written acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint within two working days
  4. The Information Officer will carefully consider the complaint and address the complainant’s concerns in an amicable manner. In considering the complaint, the Information Officer will endeavour to resolve the complaint in a fair manner and in accordance with the principles outlined in POPIA
  5. The Information Officer must also determine whether the complaint relates to an error or breach of confidentiality that has occurred and which may have a wider impact on AAGroup’s data subjects
  6. Where the Information Officer has reason to believe that the personal information of data subjects has been accessed or acquired by an unauthorised person, the Information Officer will consult with AAGroup’s EXCO where after the affected data subjects and the Information Regulator will be informed of this breach
  7. The Information Officer will revert to the complainant with a proposed solution with the option of escalating the complaint to AAGroup’s EXCO within seven working days of receipt of the complaint. In all instances, AAGroup will provide reasons for any decisions taken and communicate any anticipated deviation from the specified timelines
 

The Information Officer’s response to the data subject may comprise any of the following:

  1. A suggested remedy for the complaint
  2. A dismissal of the complaint and the reasons as to why it was dismissed
  3. An apology (if applicable) and any disciplinary action that has been taken against any employees involved
  4. Where the data subject is not satisfied with the Information Officer’s suggested remedies the data subject has the right to complain to the Information Regulator
  5. The Information Officer will review the complaints process to assess the effectiveness of the procedure on a periodic basis and to improve the procedure where it is found wanting. The reason for any complaints will also be reviewed to ensure the avoidance of occurrences giving rise to POPI related complaints