Technology, and specifically information technology, is an ever-evolving field that even the most adept technophiles sometimes struggle to keep up with. Therefore it stands to reason that the law and matters related to information technology are also constantly evolving. Whether it is trying to regulate cybercrime, cyberbullying, cryptocurrency, or even simply new means of connecting to the internet, the law has to remain flexible and ready to adapt.
In South Africa, we already have numerous pieces of legislation that either deal directly with or make way for information technology. And although it would be impossible to cover it all, we are going to highlight some of the most important aspects below:
Known as the Protection of Personal Information Act, this piece of legislation aims to protect the right to privacy that is guaranteed in The Constitution. This means that your personal information should be respected and not compromised without your consent.
As information technology evolves, cyber thieves are becoming smarter and as such, the Financial Intelligence Centre Act was established to prevent financial crimes in not only the traditional sense but also in the digital space where it is becoming more and more easy to commit these crimes.
This is the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, the law that requires that every person in South Africa must register their cellphone number. This is why persons are asked for their ID and proof of residence when buying a new sim card.
As e-commerce is on the rise, the need to protect consumers in the information technology sector is rising too. Luckily the Consumer Protection Act protects not only the rights of brick and mortar business and consumers but not shopping online too. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, which sets out how to regulate e-commerce in South Africa.
It also applies to digital marketing – a place that until recently was a bit of a Wild West with undeclared sponsorships and targeted advertisements.
If you are new to information technology or have any questions regarding the law and matters pertaining to information technology, reach out to us and we will assist in connecting you to a legal expert who can advise you.
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