Cyber Crime and South Africa’s Laws

Cyber Crime in South Africa has recently become an increased concern, especially after the Liberty incident during June 2018. South Africa, like most countries around the globe, has taken a stand against Cyber crime and placed a focus on Cyber security by drafting a Bill published in the Government Gazette No. 40487 on 9 December 2016.

The purpose of the Bill is to create offences and impose penalties which have a bearing on Cyber crime; and to criminalise the distribution of data messages which is harmful and to provide for interim protection orders. Further to regulate jurisdiction in respect of Cyber crime; and to regulate the powers to investigate Cyber crime.  Moreover, it also aims to impose obligations on electronic communications service providers and financial institutions to assist in the investigation of Cyber crimes well as to report Cyber crime.

Another important aspect to consider beyond the regulation of cybersecurity is data security and privacy laws. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on 25 May 2018, which regulates European citizens and their interactions globally. In South Africa the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (hereafter referred to as “POPIA”). Has been enacted and certain parts of the act has come effective on 11 April 2014. However, there seems to be gaps when comparing the two. As such, South African businesses are urged to comply with POPIA as well as GDPR until such time as there are fewer gaps. Contact us for assistance in this process today.

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