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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Caxton lays complaint against Google at Information Regulator

Caxton has appealed to the Information Regulator over the claim by Google that it needs more time to process Caxton's information request made in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act. 


The ongoing dispute between Caxton and Google over access to information records took a new turn this week when Caxton lodged a complaint against Google for unnecessary delaying tactics.

Caxton has initiated formal legal proceedings against the tech behemoth.

It has appealed to the Information Regulator over the claim by Google that it needs more time to process Caxton’s information request made in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.  

Caxton claims that Google will ultimately refuse its requests, but has resorted to delaying tactics to resist Caxton’s legitimate claims to access information possessed by Google, including Caxton’s data.

Google has previously claimed in correspondence that Caxton has no right to the information it seeks, despite some of the information being sourced from Caxton. 

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Caxton’s complaint, accompanied by its affidavit, lays bare the ongoing attempts by Google to hinder the flow of information, stifling not just Caxton’s rights but potentially infringing on the broader principles of press freedom vital to a thriving democracy.

“It’s time to shine a light on the practices employed by digital platforms such as Google. We are tired of being kept in the dark,” said Paul Jenkins, Chairman of Caxton.

“We hope that the Information Regulator can act decisively to ensure accountability and uphold the principles of transparency.”

Delays

Google had 30 days to respond to Caxton’s initial request for access to information but then sought to extend the period for another 30 days- complaining that it was hindered by the public holidays.

However, the legislation only allows Google to extend if complying within the 30 days would unreasonably interfere with Google’s activities. Caxton argues that Google is not entitled to this extension. 

“We will resist every attempt by Google to sidestep its responsibilities,” said Mr. Jenkins.

“This is not just about Caxton; it’s about safeguarding the essence of press freedom in South Africa. We seek nothing more than fair disclosure, at the same level and standard that the press expects of all members of the public.”

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