PRIVACY POLICY

(Protection of Personal Information Act 4 OF 2013)

This policy aims at explaining how we utilise / process personal information with due consideration to the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (“the Act”). 

  1. As a responsible party defined as such in the Act it is our objective to:
  • Utilise our clients’ personal information for the sole purpose of executing their mandate given to us in accordance with the Act as well as legislation, rules, guidelines, codes, and the like which govern our profession;
  • Take all necessary steps to protect and secure our clients’ personal information;
  • Provide details of how we will be using our clients’ personal information in the execution of our duties;
  • Perform our mandate by utilising our clients’ personal information in a responsible honest fashion; and
  • Promptly address any issues and concerns brought to our attention by our clients resulting from the use of their personal information during the execution of our mandate.

2.       Personal information is regarded “precious goods”. The Act is thus all about taking care and processing of personal information that is entrusted to us by our clients and holding us accountable should we abuse or compromise our clients’ personal information in any way, manner, or form.

3.       Personal information as referred to in this policy is defined in the Act as follows:

“…information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person, and where it is applicable, an identifiable, existing juristic person, including, but not limited to-

(a)     information relating to the race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, national, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental health, well-being, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth of the person;

(b)     information relating to the education or the medical, financial, criminal or employment history of the person;

(c)     any identifying number, symbol, e-mail address, physical address, telephone number, location information, online identifier or other particular assignment to the person;

(d)     the biometric information of the person;

(e)     the personal opinions, views or preferences of the person;

(f)      correspondence sent by the person that is implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential nature or further correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence;

(g)     the views or opinions of another individual about the person; and

(i)      the name of the person if it appears with other personal information relating to the person or if the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the person…”.

4.       Processing of personal information is defined in the Act as follows:

“…processing means any operation or activity or any set of operations, whether or not by automatic means, concerning personal information, including-

(a)     the collection, receipt, recording, organisation, collation, storage, updating or modification, retrieval, alteration, consultation or use;

(b)     dissemination by means of transmission, distribution or making available in any other form; or

(c)     merging, linking, as well as restriction, degradation, erasure or destruction of information…”.

5.       Personal information is obtained / collected by us directly from our clients or their duly appointed representatives / principals, or upon them instructing us in terms of our underlying mandate to obtain their personal information from third parties such as the various courts, court officials, deeds offices, deeds office officials, third parties providing access to deeds office records, third parties providing property searches, associated companies and service providers, CIPC searches, employers, contractors, departments of home affairs, surveyor general offices, bodies corporate, homeowner’s associations, their financial institutions, bond originators, estate agents / agencies, sheriffs, debt collectors, curators, liquidators, trustees, executors, Masters of the High Court, doctors, their former / current legal representatives, local councils, surveyors, commercial sources such as the websites and Facebook profiles, spouses dependants, family members, and the like  when granting us a mandate to perform the duties generally associated with a firm of attorneys, conveyancers, and notaries.

6.       Personal information is only used by us for the purpose it was collected.  Upon receipt of a client’s personal information same is processed in the execution of our duties in accordance with our clients’ mandate when engaging our services.  Processing will only commence with a client’s consent.  Consent is defined in the Act as “…any voluntary, specific and informed expression of will in terms of which permission is given for the processing of personal information…” by a client of ours. 

Being a firm of attorneys, conveyancers, and notaries the consent aforesaid may be in the form of:

  • A written mandate entered into by our clients and us to engage our services;
  • Us being appointed as conveyancers and notaries public in an offer to purchase / agreement of sale;
  • Us being appointed as our clients’ legal representative in deeds, documents, and instruments;
  • Us being appointed by financial institutions as bond registration / cancellation attorneys; and / or
  • Us being appointed by third parties as their correspondent attorneys, conveyancers, and / or notaries public.

In the execution of our duties, we may request additional consent if necessary to perform our mandate and / or to comply with other applicable laws, rules, guidelines, practice, and procedure. 

You always have the right to refuse such consent but need to note that such refusal may hinder, and / or frustrate, and / or prevent us from fulfilling our mandate to which extent we cannot assume any liability whatsoever.

7.       When disclosing your personal information to a third party whilst executing your mandate, we shall use our best efforts to ensure that they keep your information secure, take all reasonable steps to protect it from misuse, and only use it in a manner consistent with this policy and our mandate.  Personal information will for instance be disclosed to third parties when we are required by law to do so, when it becomes necessary to protect your legitimate interests, and to service providers who are involved in the delivery of our services to you.

8.       We have and will on a continual basis ensure that your personal information is secured by means of technical and organisational measures including keeping our systems and records secure.

9.       We will only retain your personal information for as long as the laws, regulations, and rules which govern our profession dictate us to do so, whereafter same will be destroyed.

10.     We remain committed to protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of any personal information that you provide to us during the scope of rendering our services.

11.     You are permitted to obtain or view your information on request and update same.  Copies can be supplied at a reasonable cost being charged to you.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Elize Engelbrecht

POPI Compliance Officer

011 453 0125 – reception@bmvlaw.co.za