oa De Rebus - A guide to the protection of personal information act

Volume 2015, Issue 557
  • ISSN : 0250-0329



In the last years of the 20th century, as we took our first uncertain steps into the information society in which we live today, data protection legislation was the initial jurisprudential effort to address the potential abuses heralded by computers to the privacy of our information. Accelerated exponentially by the advent of the Internet and cellular technologies, the very rapidly developing jurisprudence facilitating the protection of the fundamental human right of privacy has been the cornerstone in shaping law relating to novel applications of technology in the 21st century. In South Africa, the recognition of privacy as a fundamental human right was enshrined in our Constitution in 1996. Regrettably, the mechanisms for the protection of this constitutional right would only become a reality 20 years thereafter, with the likely commencement of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPI) in 2016. Consistent with the lamentable reticence to embrace technology as part of their daily lives and therefore our law, South African lawyers have generally taken the enactment of POPI extremely lightly. With very few exceptions,South African lawyers are not properly equipped to deal with the enormous impact that the Act will have on their own practices, let alone advice that they may be required to provide to clients. It is against this background that the publication of the first book on POPI is to be welcomed.

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