EndCode proposes for the month of October an analysis on the regulatory measures taken in some countries in correlation with the digital rights recognised in Africa. This work has made it possible to assess the regulations in Angola, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe in terms of respecting rights and preserving digital data.

The technology law and policy consultancy firm, EndCode, in its contribution to the work of Africtivistes for the public good, analysed for the month of October the interrelationships between Covid-19 regulations and digital rights. It highlighted the legislative and regulatory measures taken by African governments to reduce the spread of the pandemic. This included looking at the limits between the establishment of databases for tracking and tracing infected persons and respect for the digital rights of populations. Above all, there are times when implemented legislation may infringe on fundamental rights.

In its report, EndCode looked at the regulations that Angola, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe have passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to examine the implications for specific digital rights such as the right to privacy and data protection; the right to security, stability and resilience of the Internet; the right to freedom of expression and access to the Internet; freedom of assembly and association on the Internet; and the right to due process. After reviewing their implications, EndCode made a number of recommendations.

For example, the firm believes that authorities in selected African countries should examine best practices in the context of a pandemic by ensuring the consent of individuals, triage, security and retention of data, ... 

According to the report, when the threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic are mitigated, systems built to track and trace the spread of the virus should be decommissioned and provision should be made for the expiry of the rights to process personal data contained in these systems. 

EndCode also argues that these African countries should establish a designated judicial authority under Covid-19 that can independently enforce due process during the pandemic and for a reasonable period of time afterwards to ensure that all violations and notifications are addressed. 

As one final recommendation among many, EndCode urges these African countries to establish partnerships with community centres that can assist those without electronic devices or the means to participate meaningfully in a court hearing.

The full analysis is available in English here and a French translation here.