POPIA does indeed apply to health research: A response to Bronstein and Nyachowe
Keywords:Health Research, privacy, data protection, POPIA
Bronstein and Nyachowe recently argued that the conditions for the lawful processing of personal information, as provided in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA), do not apply to health research in South Africa. This article critically analyses the authors’ interpretation of section 3(2)(b) of POPIA and challenges two of its aspects.
Bronstein V, Nyachowe DT. Streamlining regulatory processes for health researchers: To what extent does POPIA apply? S Afr Med J 2023;113(8):1319-1321. https://doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.2023. v113i8.781
Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. https://www.gov.za/documents/protection- personal-information-act (accessed 10 August 2023).
Natal Joint Municipal Pension Fund v Endumeni Municipality 2012 (4) SA 593 (SCA).
Bronstein V. Reconciling regulation or confronting inconsistency? Conflict between national and provincial legislation. S Afr J Hum Rights 2006;22(2):283-300. https://doi.org/10.1080/19962126.20
Thaldar DW, Townsend BA. Exempting health research from the consent provisions of POPIA. Potchefstroom Electronic Law J 2021;24:1-32. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2021/v24i0a10420
National Department of Health, South Africa. Ethics in health research: Principles, processes and
structures. National Health Research Ethics Council, 2015. http://nhrec.health.gov.za/index.php/
grids-preview (accessed 10 August 2023).
Health Professions Council of South Africa. Guidelines for good practice in the healthcare professions:
Guidelines on the keeping of patient records. Booklet 9. Pretoria: HPCSA, 2016. https://www.hpcsa- blogs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Booklet-9-Guidelines-on-Patient-Records.pdf (accessed 10 August 2023).
Staunton C, Adams R, Botes M, et al. Safeguarding the future of genomic research in South Africa: Broad consent and the Protection of Personal Information Act No. 4 of 2013. S Afr Med J 2019;109(7):468-470. https://doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i7.14148
Thaldar DW, Townsend BA. Genomic research and privacy: A response to Staunton et al. S Afr Med J 2020;110(3):172-174. https://doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i3.14431
Staunton C, Adams R, Botes M, et al. Privacy rights of human research participants in South Africa must be taken seriously. S Afr Med J 2020;110(3):175-176. https://doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.2020. v110i3.14450
Townsend BA, Thaldar DW. Navigating uncharted waters: Biobanks and informational privacy in South Africa. S Afr J Hum Rights 2020;35(4):329-350. https://doi.org/10.1080/02587203.2020.1717366
Copyright (c) 2023 D W Thaldar
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
The SAMJ is published under an Attribution-Non Commercial International Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. Under this license, authors agree to make articles available to users, without permission or fees, for any lawful, non-commercial purpose. Users may read, copy, or re-use published content as long as the author and original place of publication are properly cited.
Exceptions to this license model is allowed for UKRI and research funded by organisations requiring that research be published open-access without embargo, under a CC-BY licence. As per the journals archiving policy, authors are permitted to self-archive the author-accepted manuscript (AAM) in a repository.
Authors grant the Publisher the exclusive right to publish, display, reproduce and/or distribute the Work in print and electronic format and in any medium known or hereafter developed, including for commercial use. The Author also agrees that the Publisher may retain in print or electronic format more than one copy of the Work for the purpose of preservation, security and back-up.