SENSITIVE information of nearly 800,000 residents of Thailand has been made accessible online in yet another blunder by authorities, causing public outrage and raising concerns over privacy protection in the kingdom.
According to Khaosod English, details of the residents, including full names, photos, home addresses and mobile phone numbers have been made available on a police website.
The information was stored in a police database covering the upper central region of the country and contained details of those who have had their personal details recorded by police.
According to the news site, the details of at least 798,280 Thai nationals were published by Wednesday afternoon with latest entries being added the same morning.
Sixth Regional Police department commander Lt. Gen. Thawitchart Palasak was quoted as saying the website was protected by a password, but a reporter who logged on to the online database said it was not required in order to be accessed.
The officer later said the information in the database was “not confidential”.
“It’s general information. There’s nothing secretive about it,” he said.
“It’s just phone numbers and addresses.”
It was later found a password was required to enter the database, half an hour after the media reached out to police on the matter.
Thawitchart said the programme, called “Stop talk, and walk”, involved a community outreach effort where stations were ordered to meet with residents to gain feedback.
The officer said members of the public had responded positively to the programme since it was launched several years ago.
Apart from personal details, the database also contained a summary of the conversations held between the police officer and the resident, Khaosod reported.
In March last year, a data leak involving foreigners in Thailand was uncovered barely a week after sensitive personal information of foreigners living in the country’s southern provinces was revealed to have been hidden in plain sight.
Details of the foreign travelers, including their most recent vaccine shots, real names, nationalities, passport and flight numbers, as well as addresses in Thailand, were made available, leaving the foreigners anxious over their safety and privacy.