23 J.L. Inf. & Sci. 97 (2014-2015)
Online Privacy in Thailand: Public and Strategic Awareness

handle is hein.journals/jlinfos23 and id is 103 raw text is: 





    Online Privacy in Thailand: Public and Strategic
                               Awareness


   PIRONGRONG RAMASOOTA AND SOPARK PANICHPAPIBOON**


Abstract

This study examines the current state of awareness of privacy in Thailand, with two
important foci - general online users, and leading members of civil society related to
the area of privacy advocacy. In the absence of a data protection law and amidst long
information surveillance practices administered mainly through the security state,
Thailand posits a unique setting for a research inquiry into privacy awareness and
future advocacy in the area. The study is carried out using two methodologies - a
questionnaire-based survey with online users throughout the country, and in-depth
interviews with selected members of social activist groups. Survey results show that
patterns of privacy perception, levels of awareness, and reaction to privacy threats are
variably influenced by factors such as socio-demographics, cultural attitudes, and
online use characteristics. Meanwhile, public education is found to be the preferred
option for promoting greater social awareness. Civic leaders feel that the main threats
to privacy and hindrance against social awareness on the issue lie in the following:
lack of fair information practice principles, prevailing discourse of national security,
unaccountable use of cybercrime law to probe into people's private data, and cyber
lynching and witch-hunts of political dissidents. They also feel that public education
focusing on the affected case along with the use of human rights discourse within an
international legal framework are preferred courses of actions towards the
mobilisation of privacy awareness in Thailand.

Introduction

While globalisation has entailed a series of policy convergence across the
globe, one area that has not been smoothly integrating is that of privacy. The
concept of privacy signifies individualism, liberalism, public-private divide,


    Assistant Professor, Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University
    Email: <pirongrong.r@chula.ac.th> and pirongrong.r@gmail.com>.
    Lecturer, School of Communication Arts, University of the Thai Chamber of
    Commerce and     PhD  candidate at the Faculty  of Communication      Arts,
    Chulalongkorn University. Email: <soparkpan@utcc.ac.th> and
    <soparks@live.com>.
    (This work was supported by the Higher Education Research Promotion and
    National Research University Project of Thailand, Office of the Higher Education
    Commission (HS1231A). The authors of this article would also like to express
    gratitude to the International Development Research Council (IDRC) of Canada
    through the PrivAsia Project for funding this research.)


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