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Thailand's Plan to Track All Foreign Visitors Mobile Phones by Special Sim Card Axed

After facing strong opposition, the Thai national telecom regulator has decided to scrap the plan, to force foreign visitors to Thailand use special Sim cards that record calls, text and other private information.


The idea was initially approved by the (NBTC) National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. It was approved by the fact that authorities would have the right to track visitors to the country, in the interest of national security An obvious backlash occured, and many people and governing bodies were up in arms, over the fact that visitors privacy was under a serious breach.


The telecom regulators were eventually overturned after the Thai government decided against the idea. They claimed the tracking Sim technology would 'cause more harm than good'.

This 'phone spy' sim tracking technology was meant to be rolled out across all mobile phone operators in Thailand, meaning all operators would have to enable the ability to track and store phone information on foreign visitors. This was, in case any visitor got caught up in any criminal activity could be investigated. Although the idea sounded good in theory, apart from the serious back-lash, the whole idea would be a big strain on resources too. With over 19 million visitors yearly, the task would not be too easy.


The plan was initially introduced last year and was meant to roll out by early 2017. Some countries do use this mobile phone tracking technique, Malaysia being one of them.


Thailand has a booming tourist interest, reports suggest that its growing at an increase rate of 12% year on year. Reports said that travelers could become uncomfortable with authorities knowing their movements, phone conversations and more.


As Well as phone calls and text, location can be established by sim card too. This could be an obvious intrusion of privacy and could lead to many other issues and problems, if got in the wrong hands.

 

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