Media watchdog goes after Information Regulator over data breach

The Right2Know Campaign (R2K) has issued a statement saying it has still not received any response from the Office of the Information Regulator on its failure to respond to a complaint regarding the "biggest data breach in South African history".

The NGO, along with the Centre for Environmental Rights and the Public Service Accountability Monitor, sent an open letter to the Information Regulator on Friday, saying its complaints sent on October 19, 2017, had not been addressed.

"In October last year, security researcher Troy Hunt reported the breach of a database that has now been revealed to contain the sensitive personal information of more than 60 million people – living and dead," said R2K spokesperson Busi Mtabane.

The database, which contains 60 323 827 rows of data with unique South Africa identity numbers, was accessed after the "Master Deeds" data breach last year.

ALSO READ: #SADataBreach: Local experts say don't panic

The open letter also addressed the "use of personal information by people of political parties who send unsolicited and unwanted bulk messages to the population", as well as the Office of the Information Regulator's lack of visibility.

"People do not even know that the Information Regulator exists. Furthermore, that in the past year there has been a deafening silence from the Information Regulator regarding issues of national significance in relation to the abuse of personal information of people," said Mtabane.

The Information Regulator was established in 2016 in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act with the purpose of monitoring and ensuring compliance by private and public bodies.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4273 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5158 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.03
-0.4%
Rand - Pound
18.96
+2.2%
Rand - Euro
17.38
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.73
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.3%
Gold
1,638.90
-0.3%
Silver
18.57
-1.6%
Palladium
2,093.50
+1.0%
Platinum
861.50
+0.4%
Brent Crude
86.15
-5.0%
Top 40
57,110
0.0%
All Share
63,417
0.0%
Resource 10
56,319
0.0%
Industrial 25
78,436
0.0%
Financial 15
14,142
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE