Thailand consumer council pushes for AI regulation

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Thailand Consumer Council (TCC) is pushing for the modernisation of the Consumer Protection Act 1979, in order to accommodate the emerging trends in technology, particularly the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

This call for change comes in tandem with the TCC’s latest campaign, Responsible and Fair AI for Consumers, which was launched on World Consumer Rights Day. The campaign aims to highlight the consumer violations that occur on AI-driven platforms, such as the spread of misleading information, infringements on privacy, and discriminatory practices.

Boonyeun Siritham, TCC President, highlighted the pressing need to increase awareness about AI, which has become a regular feature in the daily lives of consumers. He drew attention to the lack of legal safeguards for Thai consumers, especially the younger generation, from potential issues related to AI. In response to this, the TCC has begun to compile a list of AI-related problems to be addressed in a proposed amendment to the Consumer Protection Act.

The TCC’s secretary-general, Saree Aungsomwang, revealed that the House Committee on Consumer Protection is currently exploring the possibility of drafting a bill to tackle the challenges posed by AI. The committee is collaborating with the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) in this endeavour.

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The TCC has expressed hopes that the government will expedite the amendment process, starting this Songkran, and has invited all political parties to contribute suggestions for the amendment.

Krit Uewong, an adviser to the Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, confirmed that the government is cognisant of the fact that AI-related issues are among the top concerns for consumers, as revealed by recent surveys. Since its establishment in 2020, the TCC has intervened in over 43,400 cases to assist consumers.

At present, the OCPB and the TCC are working hand in hand to uphold five fundamental consumer rights: the right to collect information, the right to choose services and goods, the right to safe consumption, the right to lodge complaints, and the right to compensation, reported Bangkok Post.

The TCC has advised consumers to be vigilant about potential AI issues and to stay informed about their rights under consumer protection laws.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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