n South African Law Journal - Data protection : explaining the international backdrop and evaluating the current South African position

Volume 124, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



The South African Law Reform Commission's Discussion Paper on privacy and data protection and its accompanying draft Bill seek to give effect to the constitutional right to privacy when personal information is processed by public and private bodies. The mechanisms and procedures in the draft Bill are also meant to be in harmony with international prescripts. This article discusses the origin and development of the relevant international data protection standards and appraises the current position in South Africa. Detailed attention is given to the EU Directive on data protection, as this not only serves to harmonize the data protection laws of EU member states, but also affects countries like South Africa by prohibiting the transfer of personal data to non-member countries that do not ensure an 'adequate' level of data protection. It is shown that South African law does not currently meet this test.

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