Finally! The latest version of the POPIA Regulations have been tabled at Parliament. We have all been waiting anxiously for an update to the dreaded Form 4. Here is a reminder of what Form 4 looked like in the draft Regulations.

Our first impressions of the updated Regulations and Form 4

Here is what it looks like now:

Here are some quick observations:

  • Our first observation is that it is mercifully much shorter. There used to be a number of definitions in the consent which have been taken out.
  • Do direct marketers have to use the form verbatim? The Regulator has told us no, as long as it is similar. Their rationale is hidden. The definition of ‘form’ provides that the forms that are attached to the regulation must be used ‘or any form which is substantially similar to that form’.
  • What will immediately strike digital marketers is that the consent requires a signature. The latest version of the Regulations also includes a definition of ‘signature’ and ‘submit’. Signature includes an electronic signature as defined in the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act. Submit includes submit by data message, electronic communication, registered post, electronic mail, facsimile and personal delivery. This means that Form 4 may now be signed and submitted electronically – fantastic news for all digital marketers!

Although not all of our submissions have been incorporated in the new Form 4, we think that the latest updates are at least moving in the right direction.