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Thailand rated near bottom for privacy protection

Jack Burton

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Thailand’s new cybersecurity law could be used ‘to silence critics’, according to a new survey of 47 countries. Thailand placed in the bottom five out of 47 countries ranked for privacy protection, according to a study by Comparitech, a website that researches and compares technology services.

Thailand and Malaysia scored 2.6 out of 5, followed only by India (2.4), Russia (2.1) and China (1.8) in the first-time study, entitled “Surveillance States”.

Ireland was at the top of the list, scoring 3.2, followed by Portugal, Norway, France and Denmark, all of which scored 3.1. The study takes into account categories ranging from use of biometrics and CCTV to data-sharing and retention laws. According to the study, biometrics are used for many day-to-day proceedings, such as biometric checks when buying a SIM card.

Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act allows officers of the Digital Economy and Society Ministry to request documents and data from service providers without a warrant.

“With a warrant, they are able to request much more information. Many believe the new cybersecurity law will be used by the government to silence critics”.

Local cafes offering WiFi are now required to keep a log of customers’ browsing data for 90 days, it was abounded last week. According to the government, this is intended to help identify users who might abuse the laws.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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