News & events


A Roundtable Discussion with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy on the State of Privacy in South Africa

11 March 2020
14:30 - 16:00

Date: 11 March 2020    |   
: 14h30  – 16h00
Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town 
Livestream via Vidyo

The interview on ENCA with Professor Joe Cannataci, the UN Special Rapporteur on Privacy is available for download below:

Prof Joe Cannataci, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy
Ms Fadlah Adams, Senior Researcher: Parliamentary and International Affairs, South African Human Rights Commission
ms Varsha Sewlal, Executive Officer: Legal, Policy, Research and Information Technology Analysis, Information Regulator
Mr Thami Nkosi, Right2Know, Campaign’s AdvocacyA Roundtable Discussion with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy on the State of Privacy in South Africa Advisor

Chair:   Dr Rachel Adams, Senior Research Specialist, HSRC

With the onset of advantaged digital and surveillance technologies, the right to privacy has become one of the most asseverated human rights in recent years. Globally, new laws have been promulgated to protect individuals from undue violations to their right to privacy, in the form of data protection laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (2018). But these global trends are experienced differently in local contexts. In South Africa, ideas around privacy are inherently linked to the history of the country and, too, to the enjoyment of other human rights.

Privacy is experienced unequally, dependent on a composite of other socio-economic factors, including race, gender, age, and health status. With the advance of artificial intelligence, which relies on the availability of massive amounts of (often personal) data, and the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, our society is facing new concerns around the enjoyment of the right to privacy that are critically linked its history here in South Africa. This roundtable brings together local and global experts and voices to take stock of the state of the right to privacy in South Africa and to consider ways in which the country can promote the equal enjoyment of this right and all other interrelated human rights.

Kindly RSVP by 10  March 2020

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference Room, 1st  floor HSRC Library, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria.
Contact Arlene Grossberg  | T: (012) 302 2811  | E:
Cape Town: HSRC Video Conference Room, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town.
Contact Shouneez Khan| T: (021) 466 7948 | E:
Durban: HSRC Video Conference Room, The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001.
Contact Ridhwaan Khan  | T: (031) 242 5400  | C: 083 788 2786  | E:  or Wiseman Mbambo E:

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please also note that this seminar may be recorded and published on the HSRC podcast channel.