Page 253

Management Act, were it not for the novel inclusion of a designated COVID-19 Judge to oversee any data collection and storage, and to safeguard the privacy of citizens. The Information Regulator, Pansy Tlakula, responded to the obligations placed on operators to give geolocation data to government by issuing a statement highlighting that the rights to privacy and access to information are at stake with contact tracing, but supported the undertaking of it for the purposes of containing COVID-19.1 In addition, the regulations included some of the privacy touchstones in data collection: accountability of the collecting parties, the collection only of data required for the specific purpose and its accuracy, and limitations on the retention of data beyond the state of disaster. The regulations make no reference to the Information Regulator or the Protection of Personal Information Act.2 Although the act was established eight years ago, as of the time of writing significant portions—including some conditions for ‘responsible parties’ to lawfully process personal data—are not in force, despite the Information Regulator’s direct request for the President to bring the remaining sections into force by April 1, 2020. Instead most of the provisions come into force from 1 July 2020, but anyone processing personal data has a year to comply. The contact-tracing regulations authorise sharing and use only of location and identification data, and specify that the contents of any communication may not be intercepted by the health authorities or anyone else. The regulations also limit collection and use for the specific purpose. Data may only be collected, used, and disclosed by authorised persons for the purposes of addressing, preventing or combatting the spread of COVID-19 through the contact-tracing process for the Tracing Database. While South African law ordinarily requires a judge’s order for communication interception, in the regulations this collection of individual data and request does not require such an order (though a judge, as already noted, has been assigned to oversee the process more broadly). The regulations also require the Department of Health to keep the information ‘confidential’ without mentioning

1

251

2

Profile for Meatspace Press

Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives  

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how social, economic, and political power is created, exerted, and extended through technology. Through c...

Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives  

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped how social, economic, and political power is created, exerted, and extended through technology. Through c...

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded