Cyber bills to sail into law

Cyber bills to sail into law

The new 'data protection' laws will give authorities increased power over internet content.
The new 'data protection' laws will give authorities increased power over internet content.

Two controversial data protection and cybersecurity bills are expected to sail through their third reading in the National Legislative Assembly on Friday.

After they are passed into law, the Royal Gazette will publish both laws, which are expected to come into effect by May.

The data protection bill addresses the collection, processing and disclosure of personal information by data controllers and processors, as well as data subject rights, cross-border transfers and penalties.

Experts say the cybersecurity bill will help expand Thailand's cybersecurity infrastructure, protect security interests and crack down on cybercrime more effectively.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered a review of one of the cybersecurity bills after a public outcry over fears the draft law would give wider power to authorities at the expense of individual privacy.

According to Surangkana Wayuparb, chief executive of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the latest version of the bill curtails the powers previously granted to the national Cybersecurity Agency secretary-general.

She said the ministry will be the primary agency responsible for enforcing the new laws, adding that her office has been the major state agency responsible for cybersecurity and data protection for years.

The ETDA's role of facilitating e-commerce will change in June of this year, when they start to regulate business-related electronic transactions, Ms Surangkana said.

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