Webinar - WhatsApp Privacy Policy - Testing South African Data Protection Laws

In the first week of January 2021, WhatsApp had begun disseminating its updated Privacy Policy which raised global concern. The updated Privacy Policy will allow for more encroachment into its users’ private data and has to be accepted by users by 8th February 2021, failing which the service will cease to be available to non-accepting users.

On the 1st July 2020 South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, implemented the remaining sections of the Protection of Personal Information Act (the ‘POPIA’), giving effect to the privacy provision in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

In light of this and the updated Privacy Policy, there are various issues which need to be addressed and this Colloquium aims to consider the following:

  • Is the South African public sufficiently aware/interested in the implementation of the updated Privacy Policy, and, if not, what is the most effective method of raising awareness within the limited number of weeks before the Privacy Policy becomes effective?
  • What effect will POPIA have on the implementation of WhatsApp’s updated Privacy Policy in South Africa;
  • What role will the Information Regulator play amidst South Africans’ concerns about WhatsApp’s updated Privacy Policy?
  • What are the jurisdictional issues which the Information Regulator must take cognizance of in providing the public with guidance on the appropriate course of action for WhatsApp users in SA?
  • Are there any further interactions of WhatsApp’s updated Privacy Policy with other pieces of legislation other than the POPIA and PAIA?



Guest Speaker: Adv Johannes Weapond – Member of the Information Regulator

External Presenters:

  • Adv Francis Cronje - Francis Cronje
  • Ahmore Burger-Smidt – Werksmans Attorneys
  • Lucien Pierce – PPM Attorneys

Chair/Moderator: Prof Sizwe Snail ka Mtuze – Adjunct Professor Nelson Mandela University, Attorney and member of Information Regulator

Webinar Facilitator: Stephen Newman – Senior lecturer at Nelson Mandela University