The Department of Basic Education has announced that matric results would cease to be published on public platforms. The decision was taken to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act (‘‘POPIA'').
However, in a recent urgent application to the North Gauteng High Court by Afriforum joined by Maroela Media, and a matric pupil; the court ruled that matric results would continue to be published in the media as they previously were. Judge Anthony Millar held that personal details such as the students' names should not be published. Instead, the results should be published using the student's individual exam number.
POPIA was established to protect the personal information of individuals and to protect against organizations and people distributing sensitive information about an individual. However, the intended purpose of the Act is not that no information about an individual may be shared, but that only relevant or necessary information should be shared.
Remaining POPIA compliant is relatively easy if the information a body processes is relevant for its intended purposes and used only for that purpose. It is also important to ensure that there are sufficient security measures to safeguard the information processed, and lastly, to grant access to the information held where the data subject (the person on whom the information has been collected) has requested it. This list is not exhaustive.
It is important to ensure that your organization complies with POPIA requirements in a sustainable manner for your organization and in a way that continues to protect the privacy of individuals.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.