Why matric results will not be posted publicly

If the Department of Basic Education (DBE) would like to continue to post the final results of matric students in newspapers and online, it must first allow each student to opt-out, the Information Regulator of South Africa has stated.

To do otherwise would be a violation of the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia).

The regulator’s explanation comes after the DBE announced that it would not publish this year’s matric results on public platforms.

When personal information related to results is being disseminated, the regulator explained that matriculants must be made aware of the intention to publish their data and their right to object.

“Popia would also require that the matriculants be advised of such an intention to disseminate the information and be advised of their right to object to such dissemination of information,” the regulator said.

The Information Regulator added that once an objection has been made, the department must remove the complainant’s personal information before publishing.

“Once a matriculant, or a competent adult acting on their behalf, has objected to dissemination of their information, the department and dissemination platform have an obligation to ensure that such personal information is deleted from the record before it is disseminated,” the Regulator said.

The regulator said it noted the DBE’s decision to stop the publication of matric results on public platforms, ostensibly in compliance with Popia.

It explained that it met with the department on Wednesday to discuss its approach to process matric results in compliance with Popia.

“It is the view of the Regulator that DBE has a duty to ensure that matriculants receive their results and that all matriculants can access the results in an appropriate manner,” the Information Regulator stated.

“With regards to Popia, a responsible party such as the DBE is empowered to decide how to bring its actions or decisions in compliance with Popia,” it said.

“In this case, the Regulator will assess any decision regarding the publication of matric results based on the provision of Popia.”

Reporting with SANews.

Now read: End South Africa’s 30% matric pass mark

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Why matric results will not be posted publicly