In the absence of a Data Protection Law, it has been suggested that Thailand needs an independent commission responsible for protecting the privacy of its citizens.
Surankana Wayuparb, of the security sub-committee under the Electronic Transaction Commission, noted how, in countries with Data Protection Laws, evidence gathered through illicit means cannot be used in court, while anyone caught violating privacy laws can face legal action.
However, she said the lower house is considering a Data Protection Act draft which would help to protect the privacy of individuals and define the repercussions on companies who improperly dealing use personal data.
Surankana said any such commission under this law should be an independent body comprising experts from private organisations and human rights bodies rather than the Office of the Information Commission.
Growing technologies _ especially the Internet, wireless broadband and the upcoming 4G network _ may bring with them violations of privacy, so the commission should be dynamic, fully versed in these fields and, above all, neutral.
"Today, there are 18 million Internet users in Thailand. Imagine what may happen when there are 50 million people connected to the Internet," said Surankana.
Pol Col Siripong Timula, Deputy Commander at the Technology Crime Suppression Division, said controlling imported spying devices is not the solution, because it is not the technology itself that does anything wrong, rather it's the people who put it to improper use.
Police officers need hi-tech tools to battle with these devices and sometimes uses such devices themselves (under legislation) to collect evidence against criminals.
However, if Thailand had a Data Protection Law, it could be used to protect the public and penalise those who compromise their privacy.