Rosalind Lake (ZA)

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Information Regulator issues guidance on POPIA data breach notifications

The Information Regulator published Guidelines on 12 August 2022 regarding security compromise notifications in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (POPIA). POPIA governs data breaches by ‘responsible parties’ who, alone or in conjunction with others, collect and process personal information for purposes and by means determined by them. They are under an … Continue reading

Access to personal devices in competition claims

The High Court in England has ruled that it can order companies accused of breaking competition rules to require employees to disclose work-related communications stored on personal electronic devices. The court was dealing with a disclosure and inspection dispute in relation to a competition damages claim filed by a mobile phone retailer. Phones 4U’s insolvency … Continue reading

South African Data Privacy laws finally come into force

On 22 June 2020, the effective commencement of the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (POPI) was gazetted as 1 July 2020. Anyone processing personal information in South Africa will have a 12 month grace period to ensure that they comply with the requirements of POPI. After 1 July 2021, any non-compliance with POPI will … Continue reading

What does data privacy mean for due diligence investigations?

Given many entities’ proactive compliance with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act despite it not being enforceable, companies should be considering the impact of POPI (or data privacy laws with wide reach) when they carry out due diligence investigations. Depending on the nature of the transaction, the due diligence process can involve … Continue reading

Competition laws require online platforms in the ‘gig economy’ to protect SME and black suppliers

The Competition Act was amended in February 2020 to introduce new rules to protect small, medium and black-owned suppliers in specific sectors (the buyer power provisions). These include the e-commerce and online services sectors (the gig economy). On 18 May 2020 the Competition Commission issued its guidelines on the buyer power provisions. These guidelines set … Continue reading

Sign of the times: Electronic signatures in South Africa

Are electronic signatures valid? It depends: the parties must explicitly agree to the use of electronic signatures and must agree a signing method which complies with the requirements in the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 (ECTA). What constitutes an electronic signature and whether such signatures are valid in South Africa has become a question … Continue reading

Financial Service Provider has to pay back customer who was hacked

On 18 March 2020 the Supreme Court of Appeal found that funds were improperly transferred by a financial services provider (FSP) when it received fraudulent instructions from a hacker posing as its client because there was no signature on the instruction as required by the mandate. The FSP therefore acted without receiving proper instructions and … Continue reading

SCA: When is an electronic signature a signature?

A signature communicated through an electronic medium like email correspondence is not a binding signature unless agreed to by the parties. In the absence of such agreement, a signature will only be valid if it appears in manuscript form regardless of the medium of communication. When entering into contracts, explicit provision must be made regarding … Continue reading

Cyber risk during COVID-19 outbreak

A common response by businesses to the spread of COVID-19 has been to implement measures that require social distancing and remote working. To ensure business continuity, some of these measures rely on the availability of technology like VPN access, as well as the use of online platforms to hold team meetings, client calls, vendor engagement, … Continue reading

Penalties for failing to notify mergers will increase in South Africa

In March 2019, the Competition Commission published its latest guidelines for the determination of administrative penalties for failure to notify mergers and implementation of mergers contrary to the Competition Act 1998. The highest penalty to date for a failure to notify is R10 million. The methodology in the Guidelines could result in much higher figures … Continue reading

Competition Amendment Bill proposes significant changes to Market Inquiries

The Competition Amendment Bill proposes giving the Competition Commission broader powers, with more substantial remedies and the threshold for initiating a market inquiry has been lowered. Key changes include the expansion of the scope of market inquiries, the provision of a notification and consultation process with sector regulators and the granting of substantial powers to … Continue reading

Competition Amendment Bill proposes tougher penalties

The Competition Amendment Bill of 2018 introduces harsher penalty provisions which increase the enforcement powers of the competition authorities for purposes of deterring anti-competitive conduct. Removal of the ‘yellow card’ Currently, the Competition Act only allows for administrative penalties to be imposed in relation to certain prohibited practices if the conduct has been repeated by … Continue reading

Competition Amendment Bill 2018 aims to protect market participation of non-dominant firms

The overriding intention of the Competition Amendment Bill of 2018, introduced in parliament on 12 July 2018, is to address perceived high levels of concentration and the skewed ownership profile of the South African economy. The competition authorities have consistently expressed concerns about the large number of dominant firms operating in the economy which they … Continue reading
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