BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Overruling objections from some sections of the private sector, the government has decided to enforce the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) from June 1.
Thienchai na Nakorn (pic), chairman of the Personal Data Protection Committee (PDPC), said the Act has already been delayed beyond the two-year time frame, hence there would be no more delay in implementing it.
He added that even after the regulations come into effect, the PDPC would keep talking to all related parties, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to ensure they have a deep understanding of the law.
He explained that most of the objections were a result of not fully understanding the law, and the fear of punishment. He said the PDPC will explain the law to all parties.
Meanwhile, during the first stage of the enforcement, compliance with the law will minimise the impact on businesses.
The committee has established a subcommittee to draft a set of subordinate laws and formed other panels to receive complaints and act on them to improve the enforcement of the PDPA.
"Our expectation is to strengthen the security system to protect people's personal data. This is not only to make business owners aware of privacy issues but to also raise Thailand's corporate governance", said Thienchai.
According to the PDPC, an entrepreneur who violates the law will face penalties ranging from a fine of not more than THB5 million to a one-year imprisonment. The jail term is effective only in cases where a business intentionally breaks the law and it can be proved that the business carelessly leaked clients' data.
Apart from that condition, if business operators manage to properly create protection measures but still experience data leaks, Theinchai assured that they did not need to worry about being jailed.
Theinchai also said that if there was some misuse of the law, businesses could directly report to the PDPC Office.
This confirmation came a few days after the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking called for the postponement of full enforcement of the PDPA, citing lack of preparedness of many businesses, particularly SMEs.
The committee argued that enforcing the law could hurt businesses that were already suffering in the aftermath of the pandemic.