Implications of GDPR in Thailand

Implications of GDPR in Thailand

Gaining competitive edge through your data strategy

Mark Thompson, Global Privacy Lead, KPMG in the UK

Bangkok, 24 August 2018 – At KPMG in Thailand’s briefing titled ‘Implications of GDPR in Thailand: Gaining competitive edge through your privacy strategy’, KPMG explored the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforced by the EU. Given that Thailand is the EU’s third-largest commercial partner in ASEAN, businesses in Thailand need to be aware and integrate GDPR regulations within their business processes. 

The financial implications of breaching the GDPR is only one aspect, according to Mark Thompson, Global Privacy Lead, KPMG in the UK, “Treating GDPR as simply a ‘tick the box’ compliance activity is dangerous. Instead, data privacy must nurture a privacy-conscious culture and treat personal data as an immense asset that must be handled appropriately to transform it into value-bearing investments,” he explains. 

More than just regulatory requirements, today’s consumers are increasingly concerned about data privacy and how their personal data is being used. For example, a recent survey by KPMG revealed that 78% of consumers think that offline targeted ads (e.g. electronic billboards) that knows personal product preference and details, are ‘creepy’ rather than ‘cool’. On the other hand, when consumers believe that the benefits outweighed the cons of having their personal data exposed – and that they know exactly how their data is being used – they are more accepting.  

“Businesses need to change their mindset when it comes to GDPR or any other privacy regulation. They need to think of it as a source of competitive advantage that showcases their credentials as a compliant business. This change in mindset will mean that compliance will not be seen as a cost, rather it will be seen as an investment to gain more business,” added Thompson.

A survey was also done at the briefing and almost half of the participants (45%) admits that they do not fully understand the interaction between Thai regulations and the GDPR; and 47% have yet to start preparing for possible future privacy regulations applicable to Thailand but are planning to (compared to 40% that already have a privacy program in place). Moreover, 74% of the participants admits that they do not understand how and when to report a breach affecting EU customers to the relevant supervisory authority.

There may still be gaps in the understanding and actual implementation of GDPR in businesses in Asia. To ensure that a business’s data strategy benefits – rather than hinders – the company, businesses must put customers and employees at the heart of their privacy issue, creating a culture of appreciation towards data.

Moreover, businesses must understand that data is both an asset and a liability. Whilst loss or misuse of data can incur business damage, a strong data strategy can also help build confidence and enhance competitive advantage. A strong data strategy also means that thinking in the long term is crucial and rushing into the quickest or the easiest GDPR solutions can cause long-term damage without the proper analysis and a clear plan. 

By creating a privacy-aware culture, strengthening governance infrastructure and focusing on the customers’ right to data privacy and transparency, GDPR builds competitive advantage rather than simply a regulatory requirement.


Thai language: ผลกระทบของ GDPR ในประเทศไทย: การใช้กลยุทธ์ทางข้อมูลเพื่อเพิ่มประสิทธิภาพในการแข่งขัน

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About KPMG in Thailand

KPMG in Thailand, with more than 1,700 professionals offering audit, tax, and advisory services, is a member firm of the KPMG network of independent firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity.

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