ANOTHER data leak involving foreigners in Thailand has apparently been uncovered barely a week after sensitive personal information of foreigners living in the country’s southern provinces was revealed to have been to be hidden in plain sight.
This time the details of the foreign travelers, including their most recent vaccine shots, real names, nationalities, passport and flight numbers, and addresses in Thailand, among others, were made available on a government-sanctioned website.
A local media outlet reported that the website was operated by the Bureau of General Communicable Diseases, that displayed records of foreign travelers who passed through health checkpoints at Thai border controls, covering both air and land gateways.
The data uncovered mostly involved a people from South American countries and, although those who sighted it could not confirm how long the data had been online, records of the information dated back to 2012.
This latest revelation reflected poorly on the effort to protect sensitive information with proper security procedures.
Privacy advocacy group Thai Netizen Network spokesperson Arthit Suriyawongkul told Khaosod English that bureaucrats used flawed reasoning in both cases, saying that no one would be able to find the web addresses to access the sensitive information.
“It’s like you have a home, and you keep valuables in that home, and you hide a backdoor at the back of your house,” Arthit said. “But this doorway has no door at all. It’s just a frame in a hidden corner, and you hope that no one will know about this doorway,” Arthit was qouted saying.
A user named Brfsa2 on the popular ThaiVisa forum posted the bureau’s website address on a thread that discussed the earlier case of expats in southern Thailand.
The website was taken down an hour after the bureau received complaints from netizens on Monday and the Thai Netizen Network advised the public to report such “leaks” to the Center of Emergency Response Team, a state agency tasked with improving national cybersecurity.
The data leak revealed earlier this week set alarm bells ringing among foreigners living in southern Thailand, raising safety and security concerns with the sharing of sensitive information such as passport details and home addresses.