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Understanding the Laws Around Data Privacy August 2005

A debate has surfaced concerning information / data privacy stemming from articles in the newspapers about the Post Office selling personal information. Michalsons IT Attorneys published an article regarding the issues of data privacy as a result of this debate, as summarized below.

Different Forms of Privacy:

There are four different, but related types of privacy.

They are:

Bodily Privacy

Communication Privacy

Territorial Privacy, and

Information / Data Privacy

For more detailed information about the above concepts of privacy, please click here:

MSN South Africa Homepage

Facts About Privacy and the Current Position:

- In South Africa there are laws for all of the above concepts of privacy, except information / data privacy.

- It is questionable whether information / data privacy is covered by the Constitution and Common law right to privacy.

- There is currently no general data protection law, but it is being worked on by the Law Commission.

For more detailed information about South African privacy laws and constitutional rights to privacy, please click here:


What the Law Says:

- The right to information / data privacy is not yet recognized in South Africa.

- Although it is not yet recognized, an individual may still take legal action against any infringements.

- However, it is very difficult to prove the infringement, because it is unethical to talk of alleged infringements as unlawful or illegal.

For any more detailed information about the above topics, please click here:

Michalsons Attorneys

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