How likely is it that a breach of POPI act will lead to a CEO of a tech giant being subject to jail?Will it really be the CEO or other officials?
The South African POPI Act could impose imprisonment on companies processing data unlawfully.

Most tech giants do business in South Africa and do collect data and have faced fines for GDPR violations.

Could South Africa drag them to jail? How do the CEOs protect themselves?

(For more clarification: the penalty for not obeying the law is jail. So the CEOs can be extradicted.)


1 Answer 1


Executives who break the law can and do go to jail

For example:

There are many jurisdictions that impose potential imprisonments on executives for all sorts of offences: corporate governance, work health and safety, environmental damage, financial malfeasance. So why not privacy breaches?

So, the answer is simple: don’t break the law. Set up compliance protocols and oversight so such laws aren’t broken. Or, if there are breaches, they fall at the low end of the scale and make imprisonments unlikely.

As to whether the United States (on any country) would extradite for such an offence depends on their extradition arrangements with South Africa and the facts of the specific case. Typically the offence must be a crime of sufficient severity in both jurisdictions to merit extradition - you don’t get extradited for littering.


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