Don’t play ‘chicken’ by excluding POPI compliance from your corporate event planning checklist

playing_chicken_2_by_manbearpig82.jpgHave you ever played the game ‘chicken’ before? If not, that’s ok –  it’s generally not the wisest of entertainments. It involves two people willingly rushing towards each other, at high speed, in cars or on motorbikes or bicycles, to see who will be the first to lose their nerve and swerve to get out of the other’s way. The one who (sensibly) exits the dare in time is labelled as the ‘chicken’. The game can also be played with unwitting parties: Like oncoming trains. In these scenarios, if you make a dash for safety too soon, you are a chicken.

We know, crazy right?

In many ways, running a corporate event without being sure that you are compliant with the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act is much like playing a game of chicken – you are definitely taking your chances. You may initially get away with dodging POPI compliance, but what about that one day when you don’t? This is why we recommend that you be sure to include processes for POPI compliance in your corporate event planning checklist.

The POPI Act should be foremost on your mind when you are in the initial planning stages for your corporate event

In short, the POPI Act holds event organisers responsible for protecting their guests’ personal information from data breaches or hacks. Should a data breach occur, event managers are required to contact guests to inform them of the breach and how it happened. According to an Ernst & Young publication, misdirected faxes and failure to shred paper records before throwing them away also constitutes a data breach – you will need to inform guests if this should it happen. Pretty strict stuff, hey?

If you are still uncertain as to what POPI compliance is all about, read our recent blog on cybersecurity and POPI, in which we unpack how the POPI Act translates to the real-world handling of your guests’ information.

The POPI Act is enforced by an Information Regulator, to whom all complaints are directed

The Act further protects guests from the mishandling of any information they have entrusted to you – such as having their details shared with a third party for unsolicited marketing purposes. Should any data subject (a person from whom you have gathered information) feel that their personal information has been mishandled, they have recourse to lodge a complaint with the Information Regulator, who is responsible for investigating and resolving such complaints.

It’s therefore probably not the greatest idea to play chicken with the Information Regulator

Can you now see why it is so important to put POPI compliance on the top of your corporate event planning checklist? And why you need to make sure your event management team is also aware of POPI requirements?

Have you password protected all your devices? Do you store, distribute and destroy printed documents in a way that’s POPI compliant? You will also need to make sure that your Event Management Software (and all its touch points) are appropriately secure. The RSVP Agency’s Email Invitation and Event Management Software, for example, has been designed with POPI compliance in mind. The product takes the protection of personal information very seriously, and, if used appropriately, sets you up to be POPI compliant from the get-go.

On the upside, being POPI compliant will help you build and maintain trust with guests, sponsors, your big boss and HIS big boss…

Download our event compliance procedures to see what you need to consider when planning your next event experience.

Image credit: Deviant Art

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