Alert: Effective Date of Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act Postponed

Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), which was announced in 2019 and was to come into effect this month, has been postponed due to concerns that companies have not been able to finalize changes to their data policies because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Act, all companies in Thailand that handle personal data would be required to adhere to the provisions of the PDPA. This means that employers, businesses, and individuals that collect and process personal data would have to review and ensure that their data policies, particularly those pertaining to the rights of data subjects and the obligations of data controllers, are in line with the Act’s provisions once it comes into effect. The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) will draft a decree declaring the Act’s postponement within this month.

According to Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the postponement will give the Thai government more time to nominate the Personal Data Protection Committee and roll out supporting legislation.

“Hasty enforcement is not useful for anyone,” he added.

Nonetheless, the question of consumer protection rights, the obligations of data controllers, and privacy remains a contentious issue amid the Act’s postponement, with the Ministry seeking ways to balance these concerns while giving companies in Thailand much needed time to become fully compliant. The Ministry’s approach to this will be made clear once the Act has been drafted.

While this is an unexpected stay in the Act, we strongly believe that businesses should take this extra time to review their data policies and ensure that they meet all requirements under the Act in order to offset possible penalties when it eventually comes into effect. Silk Legal can provide assistance by reviewing your existing policies, performing necessary audits, and giving advice on best practices that companies should enact in order to be compliant.

More information about the PDPA’s provisions can be found in a previously published article along with the Act’s implications on employers.

Silk Legal will continue to monitor developments in this area and will provide updates when available.

For any inquiries, please contact us at info@silklegal.com.