The Department of Disease Control (DDC) plans to impose compulsory measures for all inbound arrivals, including notifying personal information and contact information such as mobile phone numbers and email addresses as part of steps to control the Covid-19 outbreak.
The measure will commence on Thursday and all personal information for inbound tourists will be kept in the system for 14 days after their arrival. The information can be provided through immigration form TM8 or an application developed by the National Science and Technology Development Agency that can be downloaded from Thursday. Foreign tourists can continue using their mobile SIM card for phone packages with roaming service, or buy a new SIM card at 49 baht with unlimited internet.
The latest move came yesterday after an urgent meeting at the office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) that included the NBTC secretary-general, the digital economy and society (DES) minister and representatives from the Immigration Police and the DDC. Inbound tourists who refuse to fill in the personal information will be prohibited from passing through immigration points, according to Section 12(7) of the immigration law.
Paiboon Amonpinyokeat, a cyber legal expert, said using mobile phone tracking is an effective measure and other countries like Singapore rely on the accuracy of GPS in smartphones and cell-site locations that can pinpoint locations precisely. This measure does not violate privacy as it is in line with public health law because this is a serious epidemic and concerns public safety. The gathered data can be analysed in the map and used for zoning.