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The personal data of our e-newsletter subscribers is safe with us

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) for South Africa came into full effect on 1 July 2021. The law is designed to protect how personal data is used, stored & processed.

While many organisations and companies were obliged to send out confirmation messages, especially obtaining consent for newsletter subscriptions, NWDC’s system for our e-newsletter had been compliant from the outset. Since the beginning, when our newsletter’s first subscriber forms were created, we have been distributing Pulse to opted-in subscribers only.

NWDC uses the cloud ware service provider Everlytic to design the quarterly e-newsletter and keep subscriber data safe. As far back as May 2012, the NWDC (then erstwhile Invest North West), became a client of Everlytic. As part of the process, our entire communications team underwent Everlytic training. Apart from being taught the ropes of the software, a large part of the training was devoted to the importance of subscriber data, the no-no’s of public lists, or the buying of lists and entrenched the values of consent, ensuring opted-in subscribers.

Since 2012, the practice of obtaining consent on both our online and hard-copy subscriber forms had been adhered to. What is more, every Pulse e-newsletter that is sent out, has an Unsubscribe link at the bottom, so that even an opted-in subscriber will always have the choice to cancel his/her newsletter subscription with immediate effect.

Some of our subscriber data, such as spreadsheets created from completed hard copy forms, are stored on the NWDC network. Here, NWDC’s IT division has also put measures in place to protect data.

NWDC’s IT network is currently protected by Firewall with Intrusion Prevention capabilities. The firewall further scans all incoming and outgoing traffic for Malware, Spam, Viruses and Phishing Attacks Furthermore, all endpoints (laptops, desktops and servers) have endpoint protection tools installed to protect against malware spam, viruses and website phasing. NWDC has also recently made the decision that our network security will be audited annually by a third party to identify any possible gaps and to improve and stay up to date with the latest available protection solutions.

At the NWDC, we uphold that every data entry is much more than that – it represents a real individual, a person made of blood and bone – who is a stakeholder, a client, a tenant, a customer. Every one of them is valued and has rights. Rights that we respect and uphold, especially the right to data privacy.

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