Free and fair elections are a central pillar of our democracy. The integrity of the Independent Electoral Commission and the issue of rigging of elections and leakage of voter information will be one of the items taking centre stage in next year’s general election.

In Zimbabwe, a data leakage scandal hit country’s election after the ruling party Zanu-PF sent personalized, unsolicited campaign messages to potential voters’ mobile phones. In 2016, America’s elections were targeted by foreign nation-state intent on infiltrating and manipulating the country’s electoral system.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced that nearly 87-million people’s personal information – including 60,000 South African users was leaked. In the same breath, Insurer Liberty Holdings could face massive fines through civil lawsuits or from a government-mandated information regulator after falling victim to a cyber-attack.

All these security breaches and leakage of our personal information raises tough questions about just how safe is our personal information?

Information Regulator chairperson and former Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Advocate Pansy Tlakula says South African are generally not conscious of issues of privacy.

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