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Officials in Thailand Exploring Integrated National ID Options

Transcript of the above video:

With some of these videos, I don’t just like to be talking about a specific legal issue, be it in the United States, or tax matter, or something like this. I just sort of like to do it, a sort of general my general thoughts on things as they’re transpiring, sort of as it comes.

I came across an article in the Bangkok Post entitled, “Unified Digital Identity Platform Plan” and it was published 24 October, 2017. To quote directly from the article “The Government Plans to set up a national single point digital identity platform by mid - 2018 in an effort to centralize identity verification, reduce online fraud and improve the efficiency of financial and e-commerce activities.” Now, to skip ahead and quote a little bit further “enterprises and businesses have applied several tools to verify identity such as finger prints and retina scans but usage and adoption varies  and a single usage platform is needed. Last week the DE Ministry and the Finance Ministry held a meeting to update the development plan. The meeting included representatives of the Bank of Thailand, National Credit Bureau, Stock Exchange of Thailand, Securities Exchange Commission and the Interior Ministry”. Now for all those folks who tend to get their hackles up for matters such as these, I am always kind of, I think I am a little bit balanced. I consider myself, coming from a legalistic background that I try to look at it with a balanced perspective. I don’t think that there is some insidious plan to gain total knowledge of your every whereabouts in the Kingdom of Thailand. What I think this is connected to and I think it’s pretty clear from recent reports and from just recent developments over about the past 4 years here in the Kingdom, is I think that various parties are very, very interested  in promulgating and maintaining a stable cashless, of some kind, system here in Thailand.  In order to do that, as noted,  especially from a fraud prevention standpoint , information gathering and for a lack of a better term, due diligence, is oftentimes necessary frankly and I think that’s what you  are seeing with respect to this article and some of the other articles that I’ve read on this topic. There are advocates that are, you know, privacy advocates who are advocating against this and believe me, there arguments are very cogent. I am very sympathetic to their point but I really think this is mostly an exercise in creating an infrastructure whereby more cashless transactions can be utilized in the Kingdom here. And let me be clear, I don’t think that Thailand as an economy will go off of cash transactions, or the sort of very liquid cash based economy that it is currently based on. I just simply don’t believe that the mentality with most folks is there for that yet and frankly I don’t think that the infrastructure is there either and for that reason, I think that’s why the powers that be that were noted in here, Bank of Thailand, SEC, SET, I think that they are very keen on this because it would create a better infrastructure to bring in a more efficient and convenient cashless system.