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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Information regulator slaps DoJ with R5m fine for contravening privacy act

The DoJ was required to submit proof that the Trend Anti-Virus licence, the SIEM licence and the Intrusion Detection System licence were renewed.


The Information Regulator has slapped the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) with an administrative fine of R5 million following its failure to comply with an enforcement notice.

The notice was issued by the regulator on 9 May 2023 after it found the department contravened various sections of the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia).

Proof

The DoJ was required to submit proof to the regulator within 31 days that the Trend Anti-Virus licence, the SIEM licence and the Intrusion Detection System licence have been renewed.

The regulator‘s spokesperson, Nomzamo Zondi, in a statement said they also required the department to institute disciplinary proceedings against the officials who failed to renew the licences, which are necessary to safeguard the department against security compromises.

“The regulator indicated that should the DoJ fail to abide by the Enforcement Notice within the stipulated timeframe, it will be guilty of an offence, in terms of which the regulator may impose an administrative fine in the amount not exceeding R10 million, or liable upon conviction to a fine or to imprisonment of the responsible officials.

“The thirty-one days given to the department expired on 9 June 2023. To date, the department has not provided the regulator with a report on implementation of the actions required in the Enforcement Notice or any other communication in that regard,” she said.

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Deadline

Zondi said the DoJ had the right to appeal the enforcement notice, but failed to exercise that right.

Given this lack of compliance with the enforcement notice, the regulator has made a determination that the department has failed to comply with the enforcement notice served to it in terms of Popia.

The DoJ has 30 days from 3 July 2023 to pay the fine or make arrangements with the regulator to pay the fine in instalments or elect to be tried in court on a charge of having committed the alleged offence referred in terms of Popia,” Zondi said.

ALSO READ: Was South Africans’ personal information during Covid protected?

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