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Data Privacy, POPIA and the Global Scene

The SA Privacy Regulator has unveiled a website www.justice.gov.za/inforeg. The Regulator is also busy on political party finances (under the basic right to transparency), as part of looking at the long over-due revision of the PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Amendment (PAIA) Draft Bill, 2019). The PAIA Draft Bill seeks to amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 to provide for information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates to be recorded, preserved and made available to the public. If you are frustrated by the inability of SA government or businesses to keep their data on you up to date, it is good to reflect that this is a global problem – increasingly businesses are finding it difficult to trust the quality of the existing user information they hold and are looking to use artificial intelligence (AI) to clean up large pools of data to make business sense. For instance, when Swedish media group Bonnier AB faced challenges in adhering to GDPR (the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation) for its 180 companies, a solution using machine learning and AI was developed to bring together its diverse data sources, which have been largely processed manually.

In addition, SA companies should note that Section 26 of the recently amended Companies Act discusses the share register and aspects of the POPIA.

Meanwhile, as data breaches become increasingly common, so regulators around the world are introducing increasingly stringent regulations with ever-more punitive conditions for failure to comply. This has led 10 of the world’s largest tech companies in the open source arena, including Google Cloud, IBM, Microsoft, Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, Intel, Swisscom, Tencent and Red Hat, to create a new body, the Confidential Computing Consortium, which aims to make computing safer and more secure. According to The Linux Foundation, consortium members will ultimately include hardware vendors, cloud providers, open source experts and academics, and will collaborate on open source technologies and standards that accelerate the adoption of confidential computing. As a major contribution to the global debate, readers are recommended to see the Netfix programme the Great Hack https://www.netflix.com/title/80117542?s=i

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