It’s the Digital-Age-old debate: security vs. privacy. When is one prioritized over the other? When is it acceptable, even necessary, to sacrafice the privacy needs of the individual for the security sake of the public?
Most hypotheses center on criminal cases, on the usual suspects, therefore some are surprised to learn that Buddhist monks are in fact the ones in the spotlight to be under the microscope.
According to the Bangkok Post, the Thai government will monitor monks’ movements with ‘smart ID cards’ as a result of recent series of scandals surfaced about some unsavory behavior.
Recent scandals involve monks using their position for monetary benefit.
The 300,00 monks living in Thailand carry paper-based identification documents already. These cards are off the digital radar and cannot be tracked or updated.
A senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office, Ormsin Chivapruck stated: “I expect we’ll be able to roll them out in three months.”
The ‘smart ID cards’ store the following information about the individual in addition to regular identification information:
Longevity at monkhood
Criminal records and convictions
Ethical Use Of Private Data
The ‘smart ID cards’ allows authorities to scrutinize individuals more easily in order to implement some form of accountability.
“I was informed the department of provincial administration is ready to co-operate with us,” Ormsin stated.