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What SAbiz must know about GDPR and POPI

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In remaining compliant with new data protection legislation, companies can generate even greater value from their data, says CLEO BECKER, Regional Counsel Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, Pakistan, Turkey and Israel for Hitachi Data Systems.

The conversation around data has become increasingly complex – with multiple pieces of data-focused legislation in play, companies no longer need to simply know how to unlock the value in their data, but also how to make sure they remain compliant.

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect on 25 May 2018, it’s important for South African businesses which conduct business in the EU to understand exactly how they will be affected. According to the legislation any company which processes the personal data of EU residents in connection with the offering of goods or services, or monitors the behaviour of those residents may need to comply.

GDPR will affect SA businesses

There are a number of key requirements set out in Article 5 of the GDPR, which include the responsibility for companies to process personal data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner, as well as to ensure that personal data is kept accurate and up to date, and only retained for as long as is necessary for a company to achieve the purposes for which the personal data was collected.

There are further requirements stipulated in the legislation of which companies need to take note.  One of the most topical of these may be the obligation for personal data to be processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of that data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage. This is particularly the case due to the growing threat of cyberattacks which target personal data.

These requirements make it essential for companies to know what kind of personal data they hold and where it is stored.

How POPI fits into the picture

To complicate matters, South African companies also need to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI).

Luckily, the provisions across the two pieces of data protection legislation are so similar (save for naming conventions) that complying with the GDPR means complying with POPI should be smooth sailing. For example, both POPI and the GDPR necessitate compliance with certain principles when processing personal data, they both require the regulator be notified in the case of a privacy breach (although notification time periods differ), both POPI and GDPR call for a data protection officer to be appointed, and both place restrictions on and requirements for what personal data can be sent outside of the EU (in the case of the GDPR) and South Africa (in the case of POPI).

Unlike the GDPR, we don’t know when POPI will come into effect. What we do know is that there will be a one-year transitional period for companies to become compliant once the date of implementation is announced.

Make sure you’re ready

Both POPI and the GDPR require companies to identify all the personal data they hold, keep that personal data up to date and accurate, set retention policies around each piece of personal data and put appropriate security safeguards in place to prevent unauthorised access, loss, damage, modification or destruction of that data. This means businesses need to make sure they employ industry best practice when it comes to their technology, IT processes and security, ensuring they have clear policies in place; that their staff are properly trained; and that there is adequate protection in their supplier contracts.

To meet these security requirements, companies may also wish to consider technology functionality such as encryption, and ensure that they back up or replicate their data in accordance with best practices to avoid losses.

How tech can help

Technology will play a big role in efficient compliance with GDPR and POPI as large amounts of data need to be clearly identified and stored for certain periods.

Technology can help companies make sense of their data and increase efficiencies through automation. For example, it can assist in responding to requests from both data subjects and regulators in a timely manner by making the data easily searchable. Once personal data is identified technology can be used to set further controls around who accesses the personal data and for how long it needs to be retained. Service providers like Hitachi will assist with the compliance journey by identifying what personal data the company holds, where that data is located (on premises or in the cloud) and assessing whether it includes personal data or sensitive personal data – particularly as different rules apply to both.

Once the personal data is identified, Hitachi makes use of the Hitachi Content Platform to store the data. This platform makes use of object storage, which allows companies to further enrich the metadata on their files to make them more easily searchable, independent of applications.

Hitachi Content Intelligence can then be used to search for and set controls on files within the Hitachi Content Platform. For example, a company could locate all of its files which contain a credit card or identity number and then set controls on who can access those files, and alerts as to when those files need to be deleted.

It’s no secret that data is increasingly becoming the lifeblood of organisations – gaining greater insight into that data not only assists with regulatory compliance, but also with identifying and uncovering new revenue opportunities.

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Prepare your cam to capture the Blood Moon

On 27 July 2018, South Africans can witness a total lunar eclipse, as the earth’s shadow completely covers the moon.

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Also known as a blood or red moon, a total lunar eclipse is the most dramatic of all lunar eclipses and presents an exciting photographic opportunity for any aspiring photographer or would-be astronomers.

“A lunar eclipse is a rare cosmic sight. For centuries these events have inspired wonder, interest and sometimes fear amongst observers. Of course, if you are lucky to be around when one occurs, you would want to capture it all on camera,” says Dana Eitzen, Corporate and Marketing Communications Executive at Canon South Africa.

Canon ambassador and acclaimed landscape photographer David Noton has provided his top tips to keep in mind when photographing this occasion.   In South Africa, the eclipse will be visible from about 19h14 on Friday, 27 July until 01h28 on the Saturday morning. The lunar eclipse will see the light from the sun blocked by the earth as it passes in front of the moon. The moon will turn red because of an effect known as Rayleigh Scattering, where bands of green and violet light become filtered through the atmosphere.

A partial eclipse will begin at 20h24 when the moon will start to turn red. The total eclipse begins at about 21h30 when the moon is completely red. The eclipse reaches its maximum at 22h21 when the moon is closest to the centre of the shadow.

David Noton advises:

  1. Download the right apps to be in-the-know

The sun’s position in the sky at any given time of day varies massively with latitude and season. That is not the case with the moon as its passage through the heavens is governed by its complex elliptical orbit of the earth. That orbit results in monthly, rather than seasonal variations, as the moon moves through its lunar cycle. The result is big differences in the timing of its appearance and its trajectory through the sky. Luckily, we no longer need to rely on weight tables to consult the behaviour of the moon, we can simply download an app on to our phone. The Photographer’s Ephemeris is useful for giving moonrise and moonset times, bearings and phases; while the Photopills app gives comprehensive information on the position of the moon in our sky.  Armed with these two apps, I’m planning to shoot the Blood Moon rising in Dorset, England. I’m aiming to capture the moon within the first fifteen minutes of moonrise so I can catch it low in the sky and juxtapose it against an object on the horizon line for scale – this could be as simple as a tree on a hill.

 

  1. Invest in a lens with optimal zoom  

On the 27th July, one of the key challenges we’ll face is shooting the moon large in the frame so we can see every crater on the asteroid pockmarked surface. It’s a task normally reserved for astronomers with super powerful telescopes, but if you’ve got a long telephoto lens on a full frame DSLR with around 600 mm of focal length, it can be done, depending on the composition. I will be using the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with an EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Ext. 1.4 x lens.

  1. Use a tripod to capture the intimate details

As you frame up your shot, one thing will become immediately apparent; lunar tracking is incredibly challenging as the moon moves through the sky surprisingly quickly. As you’ll be using a long lens for this shoot, it’s important to invest in a sturdy tripod to help capture the best possible image. Although it will be tempting to take the shot by hand, it’s important to remember that your subject is over 384,000km away from you and even with a high shutter speed, the slightest of movements will become exaggerated.

  1. Integrate the moon into your landscape

Whilst images of the moon large in the frame can be beautifully detailed, they are essentially astronomical in their appeal. Personally, I’m far more drawn to using the lunar allure as an element in my landscapes, or using the moonlight as a light source. The latter is difficult, as the amount of light the moon reflects is tiny, whilst the lunar surface is so bright by comparison. Up to now, night photography meant long, long exposures but with cameras such as the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV now capable of astonishing low light performance, a whole new nocturnal world of opportunities has been opened to photographers.

  1. Master the shutter speed for your subject 

The most evocative and genuine use of the moon in landscape portraits results from situations when the light on the moon balances with the twilight in the surrounding sky. Such images have a subtle appeal, mood and believability.  By definition, any scene incorporating a medium or wide-angle view is going to render the moon as a tiny pin prick of light, but its presence will still be felt. Our eyes naturally gravitate to it, however insignificant it may seem. Of course, the issue of shutter speed is always there; too slow an exposure and all we’ll see is an unsightly lunar streak, even with a wide-angle lens.

 

On a clear night, mastering the shutter speed of your camera is integral to capturing the moon – exposing at 1/250 sec @ f8 ISO 100 (depending on focal length) is what you’ll need to stop the motion from blurring and if you are to get the technique right, with the high quality of cameras such as the Canon EOS 5DS R, you might even be able to see the twelve cameras that were left up there by NASA in the 60’s!

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How Africa can embrace AI

Currently, no African country is among the top 10 countries expected to benefit most from AI and automation. But, the continent has the potential to catch up with the rest of world if we act fast, says ZOAIB HOOSEN, Microsoft Managing Director.

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To play catch up, we must take advantage of our best and most powerful resource – our human capital. According to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), more than 60 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is under the age of 25.

These are the people who are poised to create a future where humans and AI can work together for the good of society. In fact, the most recent WEF Global Shapers survey found that almost 80 percent of youth believe technology like AI is creating jobs rather than destroying them.

Staying ahead of the trends to stay employed

AI developments are expected to impact existing jobs, as AI can replicate certain activities at greater speed and scale. In some areas, AI could learn faster than humans, if not yet as deeply.

According to Gartner, while AI will improve the productivity of many jobs and create millions more new positions, it could impact many others. The simpler and less creative the job, the earlier, a bot for example, could replace it.

It’s important to stay ahead of the trends and find opportunities to expand our knowledge and skills while learning how to work more closely and symbiotically with technology.

Another global study by Accenture, found that the adoption of AI will create several new job categories requiring important and yet surprising skills. These include trainers, who are tasked with teaching AI systems how to perform; explainers, who bridge the gap between technologist and business leader; and sustainers, who ensure that AI systems are operating as designed.

It’s clear that successfully integrating human intelligence with AI, so they co-exist in a two-way learning relationship, will become more critical than ever.

Combining STEM with the arts

Young people have a leg up on those already in the working world because they can easily develop the necessary skills for these new roles. It’s therefore essential that our education system constantly evolves to equip youth with the right skills and way of thinking to be successful in jobs that may not even exist yet.

As the division of tasks between man and machine changes, we must re-evaluate the type of knowledge and skills imparted to future generations.

For example, technical skills will be required to design and implement AI systems, but interpersonal skills, creativity and emotional intelligence will also become crucial in giving humans an advantage over machines.

“At one level, AI will require that even more people specialise in digital skills and data science. But skilling-up for an AI-powered world involves more than science, technology, engineering and math. As computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important. Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions.” This is according to Microsoft president, Brad Smith, and EVP of AI and research, Harry Shum, who recently authored the book “The Future Computed”, which primarily deals with AI and its role in society.

Interestingly, institutions like Stanford University are already implementing this forward-thinking approach. The university offers a programme called CS+X, which integrates its computer science degree with humanities degrees, resulting in a Bachelor of Arts and Science qualification.

Revisiting laws and regulation

For this type of evolution to happen, the onus is on policy makers to revisit current laws and even bring in new regulations. Policy makers need to identify the groups most at risk of losing their jobs and create strategies to reintegrate them into the economy.

Simultaneously, though AI could be hugely beneficial in areas such as curbing poor access to healthcare and improving diagnoses for example, physicians may avoid using this technology for fear of malpractice. To avoid this, we need regulation that closes the gap between the pace of technological change and that of regulatory response. It will also become essential to develop a code of ethics for this new ecosystem.

Preparing for the future

With the recent convergence of a transformative set of technologies, economies are entering a period in which AI has the potential overcome physical limitations and open up new sources of value and growth.

To avoid missing out on this opportunity, policy makers and business leaders must prepare for, and work toward, a future with AI. We must do so not with the idea that AI is simply another productivity enhancer. Rather, we must see AI as the tool that can transform our thinking about how growth is created.

It comes down to a choice of our people and economies being part of the technological disruption, or being left behind.

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