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Sun Legal Update: Only 8% of Firms Ready for June 1 Start of Data-Privacy Law

Sun Legal Sunbelt Update

The Thailand Personal Data Protection Act is scheduled to go into effect on June 1, but the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is calling on the government to delay enforcement as many small and medium enterprises are not fully prepared.

A recent survey by the Thai Board of Trade and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce found that only 8% of almost 4,000 businesses interviewed said they have taken measures to be fully compliant with the law, while 31% indicated they have not even started the process of compliance.

Making records of processing activities was the biggest hurdle most companies are facing followed by ensuring all departments understand the requirements.

The PDPA is scheduled to start June 1, but over 20 subordinate laws have yet to be created. The JSCCIB pointed out that even if these laws are devised in time, businesses will still not be able to comply with them immediately.

The chair of the Personal Data Protection Committee confirmed that there will be a grace period for small businesses but it was not clear what defined a small business in the announcement.

The principle of the PDPA is to combat personal data misuse, as people’s consent is required before their personal information is used. Businesses must ensure that they do not keep unnecessary personal data, must gain consent of the individual, such as including a button requesting consent to use cookies.

The PDPA applies to businesses managing a website in Thailand or foreign organizations or companies doing business with users based in Thailand.

Under the PDPA personal data is defined as any data that can identify a person either directly or indirectly, including name, address, email address, phone number, identification card number, or other information that identifies a specific person.

Sensitive personal data is further protected in the PDPA and includes data related to:

  • Health data, biometric data and genetic data
  • Gender, sexual orientation and disability
  • Racial, ethnic origin and religion
  • Trade union information and political opinions

If the data that a website collects about a user in any way can identify the user, then the user is protected by the PDPA.

It is important to ensure that your business fully complies with the PDPA, this includes mapping all of your data, including photos that may identify individuals (not including those that are from paid sites for example) and other information.

Contact us at info@sunlegal.co.th if you are interested in learning more about how to comply with the PDPA law.

Despite April swoon, SET remains above average

Although the stock market dipped in April, inflows continue to grow.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand is up 0.6% this year with a dividend yield of 2.66%, above the average of 2.51% for Asian bourses. Foreign investors have been net buyers for the past five months due to manageable inflation rates, strong exports and Thailand’s reopening.

Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are the top three market gainers in Asia, while other markets have all posted declines, China posted the largest decline in the region.

One month until cannabis decriminalization

A new law taking effect June 9 will decriminalize most parts of cannabis and hemp plants that are not considered “extracts”. All parts of the marijuana plant, including its flowers and seeds, will be able to be legally consumed and no longer be considered as Category 5 narcotics.

Extracts that contain more than 0.2% THC will still be listed in the Narcotics Act. The government is working to fast track a bill that will allow the cultivation of more than six plants at homes legally. Those who wish to grow cannabis and hemp commercially will still need a license.

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