The South African government has released a draft Data and Cloud Policy for public comment. The policy was drafted by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies and aims to guide localised data acquisition, ownership, storage, use, and analytics. To achieve these objectives, the state will be creating digital transformation and processing centres, as well as a digital infrastructure company, to monitor the sector more closely.
This new policy reflects the Government’s growing unease around the ownership of data generated in the country by private “mega technological digital companies.” Consequently, and of concern, the policy allows the South African government ownership of all data generated in the country, irrespective of where a company operating in the country is domiciled. In addition, any private data deemed to be important to the state must be shared with the Government.
The state also wishes to promote the growth of local companies so that they have a fair and equitable chance of competing with their global counterparts, thus competition law will be reviewed to address concerns around dominance and anti-competitive behaviour in the data and cloud environment.
At Access Partnership, we can help your company respond to the draft policy as well as create an engagement strategy around specific areas of concern with this policy and forthcoming legislation and regulation. For more information, please contact Melissa Govender.