This dissertation seeks to examine the impact of the Protection of Personal Information Act 69 of 2013 (“POPI Act”) on direct marketing and insurance consumer in the insurance industry. This is important because the advancements in technology call for a delicate balanced between the protections of consumers Constitutional rights with an enabled economic growth market.
Technology makes it easy for personal information to be collected and be disseminated in huge volumes across the globe within seconds. The personal information such as names and contact details therefore become available and can be collected for purposes of direct marketing. Before the enactment of POPI Act, unwanted direct marketing in the insurance sector was regulated by section 45 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (“ECTA”) as well as various insurance statutes. The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (“CPA”) does not apply in to the insurance industry, however, will be discussed briefly to create context and an appreciation of the adequacy of the protection provided by insurance statutes on direct marketing.
This dissertation therefore argues that insurance legislation was not adequate to protect the insurance consumers from the unlawful processing of their personal information by direct marketers. The inconsistencies in different statutes before POPI Act was enacted made it easy for the direct marketers to infringe on the consumers’ right to privacy by sending the unwanted direct marketing communication or by disclosing these consumers’ personal information to third parties without the consumer’s knowledge or consent.
In examining the efficacy of the POPI Act, the study shows that its provisions are sufficient to protect insurance consumers from unwanted direct marketing. This conclusion is supported by the fact that the POPI Act is a personal information protection legislative instrument and more specifically because section 69 of this Act is dedicated to the regulation of direct marketing in all industries. The POPI Act provides guidelines for lawful processing of personal information, thus supporting the free flow of information for purposes of direct marketing, while securing privacy of consumers.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria 2020.