Protection of personal information of children
Protection of Personal Information Act
The possession and processing of personal information have to be treated with the utmost caution and care, this is due to what they represent in the real world. Your personal information represents who you are, thus that data translates your entire being into a format that can be recorded and stored. In a day and age such as this one where technological systems are so finely tuned and sophisticated, we need to of course regulate how this information is handled. With the massive movement in tech comes also an equally massive but however dark shadow of opportunities to take advantage of sensitive information to the detriment of the owner. Children are especially susceptible to sharing their personal information online because they are a very large consumer of online entertainment. The need to online has also become of utmost importance of late as remote learning has become the focal point of education in the last three years. The desire for entertainment and the necessity of education have potentially put children in a compromising position with regard to the sharing of their personal information online.
The Protection of Personal Information Act thus prohibits the processing of children's personal information subject to section 35 which outlines the instances where children's personal information can be processed. Section 35 outlines that:
The prohibition on processing personal information of children, as referred to in section 34, does not apply if the processing is—
carried out with the prior consent of a competent person;
necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a right or obligation in law;
necessary to comply with an obligation of international public law;
for historical, statistical or research purposes;
of personal have been deliberately been made public by the child with the consent of a competent person.
The term 'competent person' in the eyes of the law is regarded as the parent or legal guardian of the child. The sophistication of online systems and the sheer availability of online platforms and websites should be coupled with the sophistication of the regulations of the management of personal information as a whole but specifically those of children.