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Right2Know speaks out on World Data Privacy Day

The group says while the Protection of Personal Information (Popi) Act of 2013 should protect the data of South Africans, it has not been properly enforced.

FILE: A Right2Know protester outside Luthuli House. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - As Monday marks World Data Privacy Day, civil rights group Right2Know says lax personal information laws grant state security agencies and the private and public sectors unlawful access to personal data.

The group says while the Protection of Personal Information (Popi) Act of 2013 should protect the data of South Africans, it has not been properly enforced.

Right2Know says the lack of enforcement is due to years of delays in getting the information regulator operational.

The office of the regulator only started advertising for staff in September, causing major delays in the implementation of the Popi Act.

Right2Know's Thami Nkosi says this compromises the data of all South Africans.

“The state has too much access to personal data and by law, that is illegal. With private companies having access to people’s information, that is a problem too. It simply means that people can simply be subjected to all sorts of abuse.”

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