Precaution against What? – The Electronic or E-authentication Frameworks of the United Kingdom, Canada and South Africa

Authors Mzukisi N Njotini

ISSN: 2522-3062
Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Private Law, Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg. The author wishes to acknowledge that this research was commenced and completed while he was in the employ of the College of Law, University of South Africa
Source: Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, The, Volume 51 Issue 2, p. 185 – 206


Information and communication technologies (ICTs) provide opportunities and can cause setbacks to society. On the one hand, they have revolutionised the manner in which people, businesses or governments communicate and share information. On the other hand, ICTs have, inter alia, provided opportunities for the misappropriation of information in online settings. Because ICTs have become a source from which information is kept and stored, they contribute to information becoming a public good that requires legal recognition. In addition, this acceptance has meant that measures to secure information should be introduced to avert those who may wish to access, use, alter or interfere with information using whatever means possible. These measures are called e-authentication measures. They are preventive in nature and aim to validate and corroborate certain credentials necessary for the granting of authority to access information. In this article, a comparative approach to e-authentication is followed. It looks at the e-authentication structures adopted in the United Kingdom, Canada and South Africa. This approach is selected with a view to ensure that the e-authentication agenda in South Africa responds adequately to the danger of information being misappropriated online.