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The long-awaited Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act regulations were published in September last year. They don’t say much, but they do spell more than just sleepless nights for direct marketers. If accepted as they are, these regulations could send direct marketing in SA back to the stone age. I’m the first to admit I hate spam when it’s uninvited and comes from a company I have never dealt with before or given my details. Mild irritation quickly turns into rage when you realise your private information is being sold as a “lead” without you knowing. These are some of the concerns meant to be addressed by the POPI Act, which will come into effect sometime during 2018. The act will make it mandatory to ask for consent before sending electronic direct marketing to a person for the first time. It will also make it virtually impossible to sell people’s private information to third parties without their permission. This all sounds like a bloody good idea, I hear you say. Well,...

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