Smart ID Card in Thailand from a Buddhist Perspective

In: Manusya: Journal of Humanities
Krisana Kitiyadisai
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The threat of terrorism and religious conflict has been intensifying around the world since the attack on the World Trade Center in the USA. Thailand has seen tense situations in the three Southern provinces in which the break down of intelligence gathering systems has been blamed for the failure in preventing attacks and ambushes by local separatists. Consequently, the Thai government implemented the smart ID card policy in order to improve public services, enable electronic transactions and facilitate counter terrorism efforts. The report by the British House of Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee has expressed concerns over the ID card scheme in the UK and a great deal of debate and discussion have centered on the impacts on human rights, privacy and liberty. However, this paper looks at the smart card scheme in Thailand from a Buddhist perspective, whether there is any Buddhist justification for supporting such a policy. Relevant Buddhist concepts will be the framework for investigating whether the smart card scheme, its objectives, and implementation process are objectionable or acceptable from a Buddhist perspective.

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