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A Glimpse at Thailand's Digital ID Through the Biometric Profiling of Malay Muslims

– Global Voices

A look at Thailand’s forced DNA collection of Malay Muslims, and how this raises concerns about a nationwide biometric ID system

In this article the author outlines the fraught and repressive political situation in Thailand, and how as part of counter-insurgency measures it has been forcefully collecting the DNA of Malay Muslims, who are a minority in the country.

“The discriminatory nature of these measures could amount to racial profiling, which subjects Malay Muslims to disproportionate and unnecessary surveillance based on ethnic prejudice rather than objective signs of suspicion,” - Chanatip Tatiyakaroonwong.

A bill approving Thailand’s biometrically linked National ID card was passed in 2019. The author expresses fears that it may enable the racial profiling of Malay Muslims to be applied to other minority groups and vulnerable populations throughout the country.

If the system is not transparent, and if citizens are not provided with prior informed consent before their data is collected and do not know what happens to their personal data, including who has access to it, how it is collected and stored, the people’s right to privacy could be doomed

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