South Africa

Are cookies currently regulated in South Africa?

Olivia Smith & John Giles

What is the cookie law in South Africa? Many people ask because the law relating to cookies is such a big issue in many other countries. Do you need to get a user’s (aka data subject’s) consent before using cookies? Are there any specific regulations?

What are cookies and why are they used?

Cookies are text files transferred from your browser to your computer’s hard drive. They store information about your activity on a browser. Companies worldwide use cookies to monitor customer behavior and to improve interactivity with a website.

You will notice when you search for a specific product, ads relating to that product appear on other sites you visit.  When you log into a website that uses cookies and later re-visit it, the cookies allow the website to ‘remember’ you.

Cookies make your life as a website user much easier because you do not have to log in every time you visit the same page. Your online experiences will be personalized to your preferences. (more…)

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Facebook and Privacy

Lance Michalson

The CCMA has made two interesting decisions about whether it is unfair for an employer to dismiss an employee for posting intentionally offensive statements about their employer on a social networking website, like Facebook. The decisions are reported under Sedick & another / Krisray (Pty) Ltd [2011] JOL 27445 (CCMA) and Fredericks / Jo Barkett Fashions (2011) 20 CCMA 8.24.3.

The employees in each case were fairly dismissed, because the Arbitrators held that their privacy had not been infringed when their employers accessed their Facebook posts. The employees had published the statements in the public domain by not restricting their Facebook privacy settings. The CCMA took the view that, their employers were entitled to intercept the posts in terms of South African monitoring law.

These decisions raise the question, “How can organisations manage the use of social networking websites by their employees properly?”


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