POPIA Disclosure Requirements – Mandatory and Voluntary information
At the time of collection of personal information, the disclosure of what is mandatory and what is voluntary personal information is an important one, as it can have a material impact on the responsible party if not handled correctly.
For certain products or services, there is information that must be fully divulged for someone to qualify for that product or service. Take the example where someone applies for life cover. If the applicant does not divulge all the relevant information at collection time, they may end up with cover that is null and void if a claim is made against the policy.
Disclosing the consequences of voluntary non-disclosure
Firstly, the responsible party must make it clear what information being collected is mandatory and what is voluntary, and then they must make it clear what the consequences of failing to supply the information are.
In the case of applying for life cover, the applicant must divulge any activities that fall into the company’s definition of risk, such as being a racing car driver, as this will impact the cost of the cover. Obviously, the more risk there is the higher the premium will be. In the process of collecting the information, the company needs to tell the applicant that if they do not keep them up to date on changes to these risk activities, their cover may be compromised
Ensure clients are aware of voluntary disclosure required
For illustrative purposes, take an example where someone lives a sedentary life at the time of taking out disability cover. Then they decide to take up flying helicopters as a hobby and have an accident, which leaves them disabled. If the company can prove that they did inform the claimant at the time of taking out the insurance that they needed to inform the company if their circumstances change, the company would not have to pay out the claim. If, however, the claimant can prove that no-one at the insurance company told them that, then the company would need to honour the claim.
All the details regarding Disclosures and the six other workstreams that make up the full requirements of the POPI Act, can be found in the TOSMS online training programme: The Complete Guide to the Protection of Personal Information Act.