What security obligations are imposed on data controllers and data processors?
Security requirements may not always be included in the data protection law, but are key to guaranteeing lawful processing of personal data. The entity processing the data must take all useful precautions with respect to the nature of the data and the risk presented by the processing, to preserve the security of the data and prevent alteration, corruption or access by unauthorized third parties. Appropriate technical and organizational measures should be implemented to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk.
Employers in South Africa should follow the Security Safeguards outlined in the Protection of Personal Information Act (2013). When protecting employee and applicant data, take appropriate, reasonable technical and organizational measures to prevent: loss, damage, unauthorized destruction, unlawful access and/or unlawful processing. Employers should take measures to identify reasonably foreseeable risks and establish safeguards against these risks based on generally accepted security standards. These safeguards should be continually reviewed and updated. Third parties are also expected to follow these standards when handling personal employee information.
HR Best Practices: Ensure contracts with service providers detail the security and confidentiality measures that will be implemented. In addition, regularly train employees who may have access to personal information, to ensure that they are following all technical and organizational security measures that have been put in place.