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Cybercrimes Act now (mostly) in force

The Cybercrimes Act no. 19 of 2020 has now mostly come into force, although certain sections are still excluded. The official text as signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa can be downloaded here (PDF - 92kb). 

Overthinking the Protection of Personal Information Act: The last POPIA book you will ever need

For those of you who have been patiently waiting for our book to come out, the wait is almost over! JUTA has released a teaser chapter on direct marketing as well as the opportunity to pre-order the book which you can find here: https://juta.co.za/catalogue/over-thinking-the-protection-of-personal-information-act-the-last-popia-book-you-will-ever-need_28702. 

The Cybercrimes Act: A question of capacity

After some time the Cybercrimes Act was signed into law on the 01 June 2021 although it has not come into force yet. Members of the public often get confused about this and ask: 'How can it be an Act and not be in force?'. While it does not always happen, there is a modern trend to insert a section (in this case section 60) which allows the President of South Africa to announce a commencement date of the Cybercrimes Act in the Government Gazette. This is done for both convenience and for timing.

The Wild West is Dead; Long Live Data Protection

The Trade Law Centre of South Africa (Tralac) has just published an article on the impact of the start of South Africa's Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA). The article, which is written by Paul Esselaar, considers some of the impacts that the advent of data protection in South Africa will have on digital trade, in particular considering the interaction between data protection and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

Cybercrimes Bill that much closer to becoming an Act

The National Council of Provinces has amended the Cybercrimes Bill again and sent it to the President for approval. In general all the amendments to the Cybercrimes Bill were passed by majority vote. Some of the more significant amendments include: 

Final POPIA regulations published

The final version of the Regulations published in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act have been published. While they are much improved from the original version there are still some real problems with the Information Regulator's approach to direct marketing. 

Draft POPI regulations published

The draft POPI regulations have been published and they are certainly interesting. In particular the direct marketing provisions will probably cause some heart attacks among marketers. The regulations require that form 4 be used in order to get a customer to agree to receive direct marketing. 

Edcon found guilty of unlawful charges

The National Consumer Tribunal has released a finding which - essentially - finds that Edcon has been unlawfully charging its customers a fee to belong to its club. This finding is very significant for Edcon who faces the possibility of having to refund customers to the tune of several billion Rand (yes that is 'billion') and the National Credit Regulator is currently looking for Edcon to undergo an indpendent audit to find out exactly how much money Edcon will have to repay to its customers. 

Series Seed Documents published

It is trite that South Africa has been seeking to encourage small investors to start new businesses, but the amount of red tape and difficulty in getting the logistics off the ground can be quite daunting.

Esselaar Attorneys has drafted a set of documents designed for new investors to regulate (and create a standard for) the way in which investors should invest in start-ups. The idea behind this is to set a level playing field which is not weighted in favour of the investor or the start-up, but rather is as fair as possible.

Consent - why it isn't always necessary

A recent article in the attorneys magazine De Rebus argued that consent to process personal information was always required. In this letter to De Rebus Paul Esselaar argues that consent is not always a required and - in some cases - it may be a bad idea to ask for it. Click here for the letter in the April 2015 De Rebus magazine.

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