“One thing should be clear, even though we live in a world in which we share personal information more freely than in the past, we must reject the conclusion that privacy is an outmoded value. It has been at the heart of our democracy from its inception, and we need it now more than ever.”
President Barak Obama 2012

Privacy is a right that is constitutionally protected and is a fundamental pillar of our democratic society.

Privacy is based on the concept that we have a right to be left alone, which has been expanded in the information age to incorporate the right to control our personal information.

The extent of privacy is one of individual choice, with some of us being consenting to share more than others, but it is generally accepted that in doing so our consent to sharing our information should be informed and, in those instances where the failure to obtain consent is justified, that the use of our personal information must be lawful and reasonable.

The detail of the protection of this constitutional right has been articulated in the Protection of Personal Information Act. This stipulates minimum conditions that have to be met in the processing of personal information and also provides for the establishment of a Regulator to assist in the protection of personal information and the enforcement of sanctions against those who wilfully and unlawfully violate our rights, or who fail to fulfil the duty that our law imposes to protect our rights.

All citizens, whether corporate or natural, are protected by the Protection of Personal Information Act applicable to public (government or state controlled department or entity) and private bodies (individual or juristic persons carrying on business).

Privacy Online seeks to assist those parties seeking to establish the capability of complying with the provisions of the Act as well as those who believe that their privacy rights, including their rights to consent to and control the use of their personal information, have been violated.


  • 08 August 2018 - 13:41:00
    On the 25th July 2018 as a result of announcements that were made by Facebook relating to its future revenues the market value of Facebook dropped by US$ 148 billion (or R1,95 trillion). This is almost half of South Africa’s total GDP in 2016.

    While there may be several reasons for the decline in Facebook’s revenue which led to the sell-off of shares, one of the three primary factors for the decrease in projected profitability of Facebook is the focus on privacy and security

  • 08 August 2018 - 13:36:00
    As I wrote in a previous article, South Africa according to the PWC Global economic crime and fraud survey of 2018 suffers the second highest number of cybercrimes of all the countries in the world. While I have no statistics to support this I would suggest that internet banking fraud must rank as one of the primary attack vectors for cybercriminals.

    The Ombudsman for Banking Services of South Africa (Ombud) reported that for the first time in 2017 internet banking fraud was the category of crime that was most prevalent of the disputes that the Ombud has been requested to deal with. No less than 1377 internet banking complaints were closed by the Ombud in 2017. It is clear that significantly more citizens are victims of internet banking fraud as not all of the matters have been referred to the Ombud.