President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Alison Tilley as a part-time member of the Information Regulator, with effect from 1 December 2020.

The Information Regulator is an independent body established in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (Act 4 of 2013) (“POPIA”).

POPIA aims to promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies by, among others, introducing certain conditions for the lawful processing of such personal information.

As an independent body, the Information Regulator is empowered to monitor and enforce compliance by public and private bodies with the provisions of the POPIA. Complaints can also be lodged with the Regulator by persons regarding any interference with the protection of their personal information.

The President appoints members of the Regulator on the recommendation of the National Assembly.

The Regulator consists of a chairperson and four other members – two members who serve in a full-time capacity and two members who may serve in a full-time or part-time capacity.

Following the vacancy created by the resignation of Professor Tana Pistorius as a part-time member of the Information Regulator, the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services embarked on a process of filling the vacancy.

The committee received 25 nominations and shortlisted five candidates.

It subsequently recommended Alison Tilley to fill the vacancy. On 3 November 2020 the National Assembly approved the recommendation that Tilley be appointed.

Tilley brings with her a wealth of experience. She is a renowned human rights lawyer and policy specialist in protection of personal information, transparency and freedom of expression issues. She holds a BA (Law) and a LLB degree from the University of Cape Town and was admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa in 1993.

She was instrumental as part of the South African Law Reform Commission’s Project Committee on Privacy and Data Protection which developed the Protection of Personal Information Bill.

She has also been the Director and Head of Advocacy and Special Projects at the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC). ODAC is a specialist NGO working on access to information and whistleblowing advocacy.

The organisation supported the effective implementation and protection of rights and laws which enable access to, and disclosure of, information. Under her leadership, ODAC succeeded in establishing itself in the forefront of access to information and whistleblowing issues in South Africa and on the continent.

“Ms Tilley’s appointment significantly strengthens the expertise and capacity of the Information Regulator,” said the Presidency in a statement.

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