The aim of this application is to complete the LLM degree with a dissertation entitled
“Social networks in the workplace: employees’ rights to online privacy”.
The study entails an analysis of the current regulatory environment in South Africa,
together with relevant case law and legislation involving the rights of employees’ in
the workplace accessing social networking sites during working hours. The aims of
this study are to analyse the current South African legislative position, and to
determine the legal framework for the protection of employees’ online privacy.
It can be seen from the basic information below, that one of the questions that arises
is whether privacy can exist where there is in actual fact no physical space, and
whether there is any legislation that can be applied in order to reach a conclusion.
It is clear that the dissertation is working from a hypothesis that an employee’s right
to online privacy is protected through various South African legislation as well as
case law, provided that certain measures are taken. At present an employer is
required to put in place an electronic communications policy in the workplace which
should also comply with Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995. The
Employee must then be made aware of such a policy and consent must be given by
the employee by signature thereof, which shall then bind the employee to the terms
of the policy.
The dissertation further looks at the following questions that arise as to what rights
the employers’ have in respect of monitoring their employees’ online activity and
what the employees’ rights to online privacy are with regard to social networks during
the course of working hours. Legislation is referred to, for example the interplay
between the PPI and RICA. The ECT Act is also discussed with reference being
made to unauthorised access and interception with data, section 86(1) in particular
prohibits the above without the necessary consent to do so. These present the most pertinent questions that are to be answered in the
dissertation. The dissertation will reach a conclusion as to the above with all relevant
authorities, case law and legislation.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2015.