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Big Brother South Africa Will Not Only be Watching You, He’ll Also Share Your Biometric Data With the Cops

– Daily Maverick

Draft guidelines around data protection in South Africa fall short of protecting people from data misuse

This article outlines the country’s Department of Home Affairs’ draft policy around data and biometrics, which states that the information captured by facial recognition cameras in public spaces will be shared with the police to aid with investigations. It will also make individuals’ biometric information available to the police without needing a warrant.

“...there are obvious risks with granting the authorities unfettered access to the population register in a country already marred by corruption, police overreach and a long history of illegal state spying.”

The article argues that this is a dangerous overreach of state powers, and must be addressed with detailed regulation and standards. It says the government must find a balance between protecting people’s fundamental rights while harnessing the power of technology for national security.

The code should include guidelines with respect to facial recognition software, big data and information matching, along with security safeguards for the ethical and responsible use of surveillance technologies

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