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Government considering linking ID details to social media profiles



PHOTO: Rob Hampson on Unsplash

In what it says is an attempt to address fake news, fraud, and unlawful content, the government is considering linking people’s ID cards to their social media profiles. According to a Bangkok Post report, the Digital Economy and Society Ministry claims doing this would also boost e-commerce on social media. Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn says a draft regulation on the subject is expected to be integrated into the Computer Crimes Act.

According to Chaiwut, the ministry is anxious to stop the spread of fake news and illegal content on social media and the latest proposal follows concerns raised by security agencies. He says the move is also aimed at promoting the digital economy and supporting the growth of e-commerce on social media platforms.

The minister goes on to address the prevalence of fake news on social media, pointing out that some people have already been prosecuted for helping to spread disinformation. Others have received court orders to remove such content. However, he says the use of avatars instead of profile pictures, along with fake email addresses and phone numbers, makes it difficult to track offenders.

Chaiwut’s ministry held a press conference on May 24 after 6 people were arrested for allegedly violating the Computer Crimes Act after posting content about Thailand’s fight against the pandemic. Another 12 were ordered to take down content they had posted or face prosecution.

Chaiwut acknowledges that his ministry will need the cooperation of social media platforms if user ID details are to be linked to their profiles. He says the regulation and associated guidelines are now being drafted and will be ready sometime next month.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that an anonymous telecoms expert says everyone registering on social media platforms needs to provide an email address and phone number. The source points out that all Thai mobile phone numbers are already associated with ID cards or passports.

“This is already enough information for the state to track those behind misdeeds.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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