Fri, August 12, 2022

in-focus

No more delays on personal data protection law enforcement: PDPC boss


The chairman of the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) said the new Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) will be enforced from June 1 without further delay.

PDPC chairman Thienchai Na Nakhon said recently that any more delays in the enforcement of PDPA will likely see Thailand facing trade punitive measures, especially from the European Union.

He said it is unlikely that PDPA’s enforcement will be postponed by three years as urged by the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking. He explained that the PDPC was established in January 2022 specifically for the job.

Thienchai noted that personal data protection is a basic right enjoyed by people in many countries and will soon become a new world order.

He said all 28 EU nations and 50 other non-EU nations have started enforcing personal data protection laws.

“So, if Thailand does not have a personal data protection law that is on par with EU’s GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation], it will likely face a tariff wall,” Thienchai said.

He added that personal data protection law will possibly become part of international trade rules very soon.

Thailand will become the third Asean country to enforce the personal data law after Singapore and the Philippines if it sticks with the June 1, Thienchai pointed out.

As for private companies trading with EU nations, he said they do not have to worry about the PDPA enforcement because they are already complying with GDPR.

Several Thai firms have voiced concerns that the PDPA enforcement would increase their expenses and put them at risk of criminal and civil penalties.

“But they should realise that PDPA will boost Thai organisations’ potential to meet international standards. The enforcement on June 1 will announce to the world that Thailand recognises people’s right to personal data protection,” Thienchai said.

He added that once PDPA is enforced, there will be some 20 or 30 organic laws to follow. He also allayed Thai businesses’ fears, saying PDPC will set a grace period for them to familiarise themselves with the new law.

The PDPC Office will also use a recent Chulalongkorn University study on the subject to come up with easy-to-understand guidelines on complying with the law.

Thienchai also said that PDPC will hold public hearings before it issues directives for enforcing the law.

The PDPC Office has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bank of Thailand and the Office of Insurance Commission, so they can ensure that firms under their supervision will comply with the PDPA.

The PDPC will also encourage the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Thai Hotels Association to set up a joint panel with the PDPC to ensure their members comply with the law.

“We believe that within five years, everybody in the country will be aware of personal data protection,” he said.

Meanwhile, Asst Prof Supawat Malanon, an adviser to the PDPC Office, said PDPA’s aim is to ensure that data processing is done safely and transparently without violating the privacy of data owners or inhibiting business practices.

He said the enforcement of PDPA has already been postponed twice and there is no justification to delay it again because it provides individuals with a basic right.

Published : April 15, 2022

By : THE NATION