Discovery has moved swiftly to seal the document to contain possible fallout after hundreds of its clients had personal information such as names, ID numbers and contact details disclosed in court papers that have been accessed by third parties. Discovery said yesterday the data was never publicly disclosed and it had taken steps to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act, notes BusinessLIVE.

‘The court files themselves have been sealed …. We also requested the record log of who has accessed the court file to date. The file has never been in general filing …. Since the beginning of the matter only two people other than the clerks of court and the parties involved have known the location of the file and we have a record of who they are,’ the company said.

The information was furnished as a supporting document to a challenge that Discovery Life initiated against one of its former financial advisers who has left to join an independent brokerage.

The report quotes Trishana Ramluckan, a University of KZN academic and an expert in Protection of Personal Information Act, who said that even though the Act had not yet been fully implemented, Discovery could be in trouble if the court challenge dragged on beyond the timeline companies have to comply with Act.

‘It is a contentious issue. Discovery would be in a lot of trouble if the Protection of Personal Information Act was implemented, but it isn’t fully implemented yet. Clients could be unhappy about this. However, the Act is not fully implemented, and companies have a 12-month period to comply after it has commenced, which should be soon,’ she said.

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