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Government investigating loan-shark apps following complaints of online threats

Maya Taylor

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Government investigating loan-shark apps following complaints of online threats | Thaiger
PHOTO: Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

The Thai government is looking into a number of loan-shark apps, following complaints of data theft and threats being made on social media. Customers accuse the apps of stealing their data and sending them threatening messages via Line, Facebook, and SMS. According to a Nation Thailand report, when a customer downloads one of the loan-shark apps, it embeds malware in their phone, which then hacks their personal data.

Newin Chochaiyathip from the Digital Economy and Society Ministry says a number of formal complaints have been made to the ministry, with consumers saying their data has been hacked and is being used to intimidate and harass them. The ministry is now working with the police and has contacted both Apple and Google, providers of the phone operating systems.

Newin says the authorities are working swiftly to resolve the matter and urges people to exercise caution when applying for loans through online platforms. He says if a loan-shark app is offering unusual interest rates, customers should report the matter to the police and delete the app.

It’s understood over 2,000 mobile phone users have reported loan apps for hacking their phones and accessing data that includes their contacts, photos, videos, location, mobile banking information, SMS messages and social media accounts.

This information is then used to threaten and harass borrowers who miss a repayment by sending them SMS messages or contacting them through Facebook or Line. Victims say the messages are often rude or vulgar, and use intimidating language – even threatening the user’s life if they fail to repay the loan.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Better to have an online threat than a face to face threat.
    Why all this sympathy for debtors? The generous loan sharks lend money to these deadbeats who have no collateral, and when they have to pay it back the deadbeats scream UNFAIR!
    I’m a VICTIM!!

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First Thai-made satellite to launch in 2023

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First Thai-made satellite to launch in 2023 | Thaiger
PHOTO: "Wait, you're telling me Koh Phangan has a 'Full ME Party'?!"

The first Thai-manufactured satellite, named the TSC-Pathfinder and designed to survey Earth’s natural resources, is planned to be launched in 2023. The launch is part of a schedule by the Ministry of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation’s developing space technology programme to launch 5 small satellites between 2021 and 2027. Space engineering development and application, research and development, and educational and industrial support will be the focus of their new programme. The TSC Pathfinder’s project manager reported that a minimum of 15 staff members on the project would be trained in China within the next year about the construction and engineering of satellites.

While Thailand did officially launch a satellite last year, it was manufactured in the Netherlands and launched in French Guiana. The Thai-made satellite is the first thing in space made in Thailand, aside from some trees on the International Space Station.

It’s exciting to see Thailand enter the space race, although some people are critical, asking if the big price tag on a project like this will actually benefit Thailand and its citizens. Many people have posted publicly on social media pointing out that, while the government spends heavily on advanced space technology, many Thai people are struggling with poverty.

MHESI Minister Anek Laothamatas believes that developing space technology would definitely be beneficial for future investors because of the expansion of advanced technology into everyday life for so many people. He believes that while the launch of these satellites is just establishing of the basic infrastructure needed to develop the technology further, the field will actually create a lot of jobs and stimulate the economy in the long run.

“The space technology business will be able to create start-up businesses related to space technology and in doing so elevate the country’s economy.”

The MHESI have planned five satellite launches between now and 2027:

  • The TSC-Pathfinder, launching in 2023 to survey natural resources
  • The TSC-1, launching in 2025 to survey the Earth
  • The TSC-PFT1, launch date TBD to probe dual-system technology
  • The TSC-PFT2, launch date TBD to analyze a system of sending and receiving signals in a low-frequency-X band
  • The TSC-2, launching by 2027, to use the developments of the third and fourth satellites in order to reach the Moon’s orbit

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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The challenges for the digital nomad in Thailand | VIDEO

Tim Newton

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The challenges for the digital nomad in Thailand | VIDEO | Thaiger

Ah yes, the challenges of being a digital nomad in Thailand. What is a digital nomad? People who can do their job anywhere in the world with just a laptop, tablet and wi fi (preferably free wi fi). Thailand has the scenery, wi fi access, speed and lots and lots of coffee shops (with excellent coffee these days).

But there are also lots of challenges that make Thailand not quite the perfect haven for the digital nomad. Kay from Hey Big Mango checks out the challenges faced by digital nomads in today’s program.

Some more information about the Smart Visa and digital nomads HERE.

Here’s a link to more of Kay’s content.

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Personal Data Protection Act might be delayed to give businesses more time to prepare

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Personal Data Protection Act might be delayed to give businesses more time to prepare | Thaiger
Photo by Tech Daily for Unsplash

The launch of Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act, set to go into effect in June, might be delayed to allow small and medium-sized more time to prepare for the new regulations.

The new Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn says that if the public has negative views about the new legislation, then the ministry might discuss whether to defer or amend the act.

Rumours that the PDPA will be postponed until the end of this year seen more likely as members of the Personal Data Protection Committee have yet to be appointed. This committee is necessary to approve any follow-up legislation.

Several associations are requesting the deferral and enforcement, saying that they lack the readiness to comply with the new regulations, in particular associations in the travel and automotive fields. They fear that nefarious people may exploit loopholes in the law to abuse businesses to benefit themselves personally. The legitimate fear of abuse have led to the drafting of supplemental legislation addressing complaints, consent procedures, and expert panels, but will require approval by the short-staffed committee.

The Personal Data Protection Act was originally published in May of 2019 but immediately deferred for one year allowing a grace period for members to comply. In May 2020 the cabinet agreed to another postponement in enforcing most of the sections of the PDPA to give the public and private enterprises affected time to comply and rework internally, and also to reduce costs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Digital Economy and Society Minister has pledged to assign priority to 5G, a national digital ID, fake news suppression, and a government cloud. They have set goals to address a 5-point plan that they will focus on:

  • First, the ministry will concentrate on helping people gain access to innovation and technology.
  • Second, they will strive to manifest an ecosystem that will be more amiable to a digital economy in the future.
  • Third, the ministry will pursue digital infrastructure development including the 5G rollout and “smart cities”. 500 million baht has already been earmarked by the government for 5G projects in various fields including education, farming, and manufacturing.
  • Fourth, the ministry plans to build people’s trust in the digital ecosystem especially for cybersecurity and electronic transactions. They aim to develop a legal framework and how to enforce it.
  • Finally, plans are underway to protect people from abuse on the internet especially on social media.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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