Thailand: New Digital ID Law

A draft Digital Authentication and Personal Identification Act (“Draft Act”) was proposed by the Ministry of Finance to the Cabinet and that it was approved by the Cabinet in principle on 11 September 2018. It was also expected to be passed by the National Legislative Assembly and be effective by the mid of next year.

The Draft Act was aimed to issue in order to solve the complexity of transactions conducting with state agencies or certain private entities, such as commercial banks and financial institutions, called Relying Party or RP. Currently, the persons, called “User”, who would like to conduct any transaction with the RP has to provide a bunch of documents and present itself to the RP in order to complete the identification process set by each state agency or private entity whom the identification process is required to be conducted before commencing any transaction. Therefore, such requirement causes a huge burden to the Use and also Relying Party. Thereby, the Draft Act was proposed for solving such complexity by setting up an intermediate organization who is entitled to handle on this identification process called “Identity Provider” or IdP.

The IdP is a Thai company who obtains a license from the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (“DE”) and that provides this identification service which the information and documents of the Users will be registered and recorded in its digital platform governed by the relevant legislation. In case that the User would like to conduct any transaction with any RP, the RP is able to request for information and documents of the User registered and recorded with the IdP for its identification process and IdP is entitled to deliver the same to the RP under certain procedures. Besides, in order to secure information and data of the User, the IdP is required to set up its encryption and confidentiality system. If the IdP breaches any of its obligations specified by the Draft Act, both civil and criminal penalties will be applied.

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Presently, Thailand is trying to step up into the electronic age, called Thailand 4.0, which the electronic transactions are extensively set up. Therefore, if the authentication and identification of persons be made in a form of digital, it will create lots benefit to both User and RP and also will enhance the competitiveness of the country in term of trade and commerce and magnetize foreign investors to become investing in the country.

Author: Panisa Suwanmatajarn and Onnicha Khongthon

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