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Breaches to personal information could lead to R10 million fine or 10 years in prison.

The Information Regulator of South Africa says continuous breaches of processing personal information of a person could lead to the fine of up to R10-million to 10 years imprisonment.

The regulator was responding to the distribution of former President Jacob Zuma’s photographs that were taken at the correctional services facilities.

The personal information of people is protected in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI Act). It became law when President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Protection of Personal Bill into law in November 2019.

The implementation of the Act only kicked in fully on the 1st of July this year.

According to the Information Regulator, the Act prohibits the distribution of personal information without the consent of the individual identified in the item being distributed.

Correctional Services recently announced that a criminal case has been opened after a camera SD card, containing the images of Zuma was stolen.

 Department spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo said the matter is highly sensitive and is being investigated by both SAPS and the department.

The regulator said it was waiting for response with regards to the stolen pictures from correctional service.

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