SA's lack of data privacy laws may affect global trade

As the South African economy continues to grow so does its global competitiveness, but local trading partners will have to fall in line with their overseas counterparts and beef up their internal data privacy systems if they want to trade internationally.

That is the word from Salome Kwant, regional technology manager, Compuware Middle East/Africa, who says that as more companies look to deal with local companies, they will require internationally accepted data privacy regulations.

'Because we have little or no legislation in this regard we lag behind our global partners and this could lead to losing lucrative contracts and embarrassment. It is important that we have the right laws in place, but until then companies should take the initiative and implement their own data privacy systems,' says Kwant.

Deneys Reitz legal expert, Rohan Isaacs, says that about 30 countries around the world have active data protection legislation in place, which deals with the manner of collection, handling and transfer of data -- these include SA's major trading partners in Europe.