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actual mechanics of collecting and storing these data? Can they be safeguarded, particularly during the collection phase? The Judge’s mandate to propose improvements to the regulations is both an acknowledgement of the temporary, contingent nature of the regulation, as well as the importance of the constitutional guarantee of privacy in South Africa. The novel appointment of a (respected) specialist jurist to safeguard constitutional rights definitely makes the South African citizens winners, though the challenges and uncertainty of implementation remain. The Information Regulator may be a loser in the government response to COVID-19, in that this could have provided an opportunity for her to put her stamp of authority on this fundamental rights issue at a time of crisis. Despite her active guidance, with the Act not fully in force she has not really been able to do so. The Regulator’s clear guidelines for data protection compliance still do not bear the force of law that the regulations do, but it will be important to see how principle-based laws such as POPIA might be used to frame data justice discussions in South Africa, even if yet not with the full force of their authority. References 1.

See: https://www.justice. gov.za/inforeg/docs/ InfoRegSA-GuidanceNote-PPICovid19-20200403.pdf

2. See: https://www.michalsons.com/ focus-areas/privacy-and-dataprotection/protection-of-personalinformation-act-popia

3.

See: https://ewn.co.za/2019/03/11/ exclusive-national-health-labservices-accused-of-unlawfullysharing-patient-records

4. See: https://www.gov.za/ sites/default/files/gcis_ document/202004/ 43199rg11078-gon446.pdf

Research ICT Africa is a think tank working to build the ICT policy and regulatory research capacity needed to inform effective ICT governance in Africa.

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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...

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