“Collecting POPIA information from Google and LinkedIn” is allowed.

“If a new client contacts me, do I need to get his consent?”

Yes. You are allowed to collect information about the client from the Internet; but will have to obtain his consent in due course.

The general rule is that information must be collected directly from the client – Section 12 (1); but there are many exceptions; which give you much leeway. See the following:

THE LAW DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN WHETHER NOT YOU OBTAIN THE INFORMATION DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY.

  • If information is obtained from any social media, a public platform, all any public record; – it need not be obtained “directly” from the client. Section 12 (2) (a).
  • If the information has been deliberately made public, you do not have to obtain it directly from the client. Section 12 (2) (a).
  • If the client has consented to the collection of information, from another source; you do not need to obtain it directly from the client. Section 12 (2) (b).
  • If collection of information from another source would not prejudice the interests of the client; you do not need to obtain it directly from the client Section 12 (2)(c).
  • If it is not reasonably practicable in the circumstances; you do not need to obtain information directly from the client. Section 12 (2) (f).

If the client has reached out and approached you, he is deemed to have given you his information “directly”.

  • Information “may be processed if given for the purpose” of processing – Section 10.
  • Information may be processed if necessary to perform or carry out an agreement Section 11 (1) (b). For instance an agreement whereby a new seller gives you a voice or written mandate to sell, would be a typical agreement.

But remember, you still must record having obtained consent from the client and must be able to prove that you obtained that consent to use this information.

“If a new client contacts me, do I need to get his consent?”

Yes. You must obtain his consent. The General Rule is that you must have the client’s consent to use his information. Section 11 (1) (a).

The Law also requires you, (the user of the information), to be able to prove that you had the consent of the client to process his information. Section 11 (2) (a).

But you can get the consent after the client has contacted you.

Section 14 requires you to keep records of the consent and the information so you can produce proof thereof if ever requested by the Regulator.

Conclusion

You still have to get the consent of the client to use his information; whether or not you obtained the information directly or indirectly and you must be able to prove that you obtained the consent of the client to use his information.

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