Digital ID scheduled for year-end
Digital ID services will be enacted by royal decree by year-end to ensure that Thailand's digital ID scheme is effective.
According to Surangkana Wayuparb, executive director and chief executive of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA), a public hearing on digital ID services is scheduled for mid-July before the draft goes before the cabinet by August.
A digital ID bill will regulate digital ID management and address trust and security issues, she said, adding that the digital ID licence for service operators such as banks will also be provided to enable audits and ensure trustable authentication.
The ETDA acts as secretary-general of the digital ID committee.
The bill will pave the way for related regulations that specify device standards that are compatible for digital IDs, such as mobile SIM, biometrics, fingerprint and facial recognition technology.
The law aims to ensure that service providers and consumers have a secure platform. Thailand's digital ID will also be in compliance with the UN digital ID and the e-authentication collaborations in Asean.
Mrs Surangkana said digital ID helps verify users' online identity and eliminates fraudulent activities that are a threat to online transactions.
National Digital ID (NDID) will roll out the central system to authenticate Digital ID service by July and plans to increase their investment from 100 million to 350 million baht to operate the system.
In the first phase, NDID will mainly focus on payment and banking services and digital government services, particularly healthcare.
At Thailand's first digital ID symposium, Pichet Durongkaveroj, the digital economy and society minister, said Thailand's digital ID is an urgent and important goal because it helps to unlock the potential of Thailand's digital economy.
Digital ID helps secure online shopping by authenticating both buyers and sellers. With digital ID, users can open a bank account or buy insurance online. Digital IDs can also be used to access government services.
Andrus Kaarelson, director of state information systems for Estonia, said every citizen in that country has an electronic ID (eID).
With a population of 1.3 million, Estonia is considered a pioneer in digital ID. In August 2017, Estonians were left vulnerable when an eID security breach affected 60% of eID cards.
Mr Kaarelson suggested that Thailand's digital ID scheme place several authentications for users to verify their identity. He said a remote update service for eID is a must when encountering a security breach.
Pramod Varma, chief architect of the Aadhaar digital ID in India, said his country spends US$50 billion (1.53 trillion baht), 2% of GDP, every year in subsidies to the poor, but there are leaks in these transfers. Digital ID has helped reduce such leaks.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique ID number given to residents based on their biometric and demographic data. A billion people have registered for Aadhaar in the past five and a half years.