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

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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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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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