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Privacy-Online • News

Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill

Posted September 2, 2015
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has recently published a draft Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill for public comment. This is accompanied by the invitation to comment on the Bill, the deadline of which is the 30th November 2015.

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Ashley Madison: The Privacy Issues

Posted September 1, 2015
The hacking of the Ashley Madison website, which has as its logo “Life is Short - Have an Affair”, is one of the more dramatic examples of why the issue of privacy is so important.

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"POPI Compliance" - What does it mean?

Posted August 17, 2015
Over recent months there is an increasing trend on the part of suppliers of POPI products and services to represent that the product or service is “POPI compliant”. These representations seem to promise that there are “silver bullets” that will magically render processors of personal information “POPI compliant”. Quite simply this is false marketing ......

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POPI Important Announcements

Posted August 4, 2015

Nominations for Members of the Information Regulator .... The portfolio committee for Justice and Correctional Services has invited nominations for 5 suitable persons to be appointed as members of the Information Regulator for a period of five years. The detail of this request for nominations is provided hereunder.

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Privacy and the Rule of Law

Posted July 27, 2015
South Africa’s most revered citizen and fervent champion of the democratic ideal, Nelson Mandela, stated in the Rivonia Trial that he cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society, he had fought for this and that it was an ideal that he hoped to live and to see realised, which thankfully he did. He also added “It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. . . .

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Recommendation of candidates for appointment to Information Regulator

Posted June 19, 2015
The Portfolio Committee of Justice and Correctional Services has had referred to it the process of recommendations of candidates for appointment as members of the Information Regulator ...

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Funds Approved for Establishment of Privacy Regulator

Posted June 1, 2015
The Deputy Minister of Justice, the Honourable John Jeffery, in addressing the House of Assembly during the Department of Justice Budget vote on the 19th May 2015, confirmed that appropriate funding to allow for the establishment of the office of the Regulator, required in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act, had been agreed by Treasury.

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Failure to Implement Privacy Legistation Impacts the Cybersecurity of South Africa

Posted April 22, 2015
There is little doubt that over the past year there has been a sharp escalation in the recognition of cyber-threats. Commensurate with this escalation has been the consideration and implementation of measures to combat the cyber-threats. .......

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Privacy - "We have done a good job" - Minister of State Security

Posted March 23, 2015
During the afternoon of the 4th March 2015 I took the opportunity of listening to the parliamentary debate, during which the Honourable Minister of State Security (incorrectly referred to by the EFF as the “Secret Service”) gave answers to questions relating to the jamming device in Parliament and the well-publicised security leak of sensitive information.

Regrettably, the Honourable Minister was less than forthcoming in answering questions put to him by opposition parties...

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Privacy - A Human Right

Posted March 9, 2015
In a recent interview Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, not only rivalling Coca Cola as the best known brand in the world but now also the company with the largest market capitalisation ever, reaffirmed Apple’s commitment to privacy. Cook said: “None of us should accept that government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. ..."

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Data Privacy: Sea-change in attitudes to Protection of Personal Information?

Posted January 21, 2015
The past year

The 2014 calendar year was tumultuous with regard to information security and privacy of personal information. Laws, decisions of regulators and courts defining how personal information may be used and the protections which processors of personal information are obliged to establish, implement and maintain have been the reaction to a global groundswell of concern arising from abuses of personal information magnified by the Snowden revelations. ... I highlight some of the important trends and developments.
  • "right to be forgotten"
  • "do not track"
  • drones
  • "Sony-hack"
  • "tech trends you can't ignore in 2015"
  • President Barack Obama announced sweeping privacy reforms
  • Consumer Bill of Rights
  • "Personal Privacy Marketplace"
South Africa

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Posted July 31, 2014
The cover story of Time Magazine of 21st July 2014 is titled “The Code War – the Internet is a battlefield, the prize is your information, the bugs are the weapons". The article deals with vulnerabilities in software which allow access to the software and the downloading of malware (viruses and worms) which embed programmes and execute them on those computers. The result is that typically access can be gained to information on vast networks and this information can be harvested and used by the perpetrators of the intrusion. In certain instances the executable programmes interfere with the proper operation of the programmes and computers and may be extremely destructive.

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Posted July 31, 2014

Recent weeks have seen several issues which are of importance from a privacy perspective. They also illustrate why privacy is the burning jurisprudential issue globally as our information society seeks a balance the benefits that information and communication technologies provide with the violations of privacy that have arisen from the unfettered processing of information, personal or otherwise.

  • Right to be Forgotten
  • How would you feel about having your emotions manipulated?

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Posted June 9, 2014
As the world wrestles with legal and practical implications of novel technologies and their application in the processing of personal information the past two weeks have seen important developments on the privacy front. These are addressed, in summary, in this newsletter and links to documentation which may be of interest to you are provided.
  • Right to be Forgotten
  • Big Data and Data Brokers
  • Cyber Essentials

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Posted May 28, 2014
Deputy Minister John Jeffery

Mr John Jeffery has been appointed the Deputy Minister of Justice. Mr Jeffery has been involved in the passage of the draft Protection of Personal Information Bill through Parliament to its enactment. As such he understands the importance of the protection of personal information to South African citizens.

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Posted April 16, 2014
Proclamation by the President providing for the commencement of the POPI Act in certain limited respects. ...... This step is welcomed and signals the first phase of the implementation of the Act.

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Posted March 24, 2014
On the 13th January 21014 I published a newsletter which highlighted the potential compromise of personal information and the lack of understanding on the part of most South African institutions regarding their obligations for information security and privacy....

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Posted February 24, 2014
... the issue of the relationship between privacy and information security has been raised on several occasions. In some instances it has become apparent that there is a misunderstanding of the relationship between information security and privacy. Some clients have addressed the two issues completely separately, with legal and compliance functions dealing with privacy issues and ICT functions dealing, quite separately, with information security. I think that this approach is doomed to failure and believe that it holds a distinct danger that either one the separate projects will adversely affect the other. This has prompted me to provide this guidance ...

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Posted January 20, 2014
President Obama announces steps taken by his administration and issues to be referred to Congress, aimed at ensuring that the fine balance between national security and civil liberties, most notably that of privacy, is established, constantly monitored and maintained.

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Posted January 13, 2014
The recent exposure of security failures in the Sanral eToll System and the potential for compromise of personal information highlights a general lack of understanding of obligations by South African institutions to properly secure information and protect personal information. The unfortunate lack of urgency in the Parliamentary process has no doubt contributed to the general perception that the Constitutional right of privacy is unimportant.

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  • 09 October 2018 - 12:11:00
    The 28th September 2018 saw the world celebrate “Right2Know” day. The Information Regulator (Regulator) is to be congratulated on organising a conference to mark the celebration. Several speakers eloquently emphasised the importance of access to information in an open democracy as well as the enforcement of sanctions against those who do not comply with their obligations. The importance of the handing over of the Regulation of the Promotion of Access to Information Act to the Information Regulator was also addressed as the South Human Rights Commission has never enjoyed the enforcement powers granted to the Regulator.

  • 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