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Adoption of Personal Data Protection by June in Thailand

Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) expressed its readiness for the implementation of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). It was tasked to develop an account registration system for digital start-ups and service providers. Digital service accounts will be linked to state processes, such as tax rules, to expand the services offered to digital enterprises in Thailand.

After being delayed since 2019, Thailand’s first-ever law on personal data protection will go into effect on 1 June 2022. The law defines the responsibility enterprises have regarding the collecting and processing of personal data. It is anticipated that the government will grant a grace period for SMEs to comply with the new law.

There are still certain distinctive Thai perspectives in the law, particularly with relation to consent. In general, the PDPA’s data protection obligations apply to all organisations that collect, use, or disclose personal data in Thailand or of Thai residents, regardless of whether they are formed or recognised under Thai law, and regardless of whether they are residents or have a physical presence in Thailand.

This extraterritorial scope of the PDPA constitutes a substantial increase in Thailand’s data protection duties to include all processing operations involving data subjects located in Thailand.

The PDPA is projected to alter the landscape of personal data protection in Thailand if implemented. The law specifies that data controllers and processors that use personal data must obtain agreement from the owners and use the information only for specified purposes. The PDPA levies administrative fines of up to THB 5 million and criminal fines of up to THB 1 million for violations.

Recently an enforcement seminar was held to showcase the Health Link Platform, a pioneering project on personal data protection practices. It was attended by some key officials from the government, public and private sectors, and all relevant industries to make awareness and to be able to comply with personal data protection legislation.

The Health Link Project was launched in 2021 to integrate patient health data across hospitals to provide physicians with access to patient records. Currently, it has a total of 150 hospitals in the network and over 100,000 people use it. The goal was to invite more than 200 hospitals to be part of it before 2022 ends and to be used by almost the population in Thailand.

DEPA Plans to Promote the Digital Economy in Nakhon Ratchasima Province

In addition, DEPA and Nakhon Ratchasima Province are moving on with the brainstorming session on their digital economy promotion strategy, which was attended by several government agencies, commercial sectors, and other organisations.

The meeting approved the (draught) digital economy promotion plan to assist Nakhon Ratchasima Province in achieving its development goal of becoming “The Centre of the Communication Network Ecotourism and Arts and Culture of the Region Agricultural and Industrial Innovations and a High-Quality Society.”

Upskilling and reskilling employees for careers in the digital age will be the focus of the digital economy promotion plan. Promoting the use of digital technology by enterprises and community organisations to boost revenue and the worth of goods and services.

Creating an environment conducive to the growth of innovation and digital technology in order to foster the emergence of Digital Provider entrepreneurs in the region, including the development of infrastructure, the construction of an information platform, and the promotion of cybersecurity initiatives such as Smart City, City Data Platform, and Intelligent Operation Centre.

DEPA is now preparing for the project that will drive the digital economy promotion plan in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima.

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