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Mor Chana app - what does the law actually say?


cliveshep

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My wife received a phone call from her sister who was going to the garage to get her car repaired. It seems the sisters (in their 40's and 50's) were stopped by a police checkpoint. This was somewhere in the Rangsit side of Bangkok I believe. The police demanded to know if they had the Mor Chana app installed on their phones, and told them that it was a 200,000 baht fine and 2 years in prison if they did not have the app.

 

Apparently the older sister did have the app and had to show her phone to the police to prove it.

 

So I want to know were these police officers correct in law - 2 years in prison and 200,000 baht fine if the app was not installed, or - as I believe - wrong because it is NOT an offence not to have the app on a phone although if one does not and subsequently got infected that might be an offence - IF one had a phone?

 

My phone is in my wife's name although of course I pay the bills. My personal view is that if I went somewhere I don't care if the police know where I went BUT if the app is used for more serious snooping then I prefer to advise them in the vernacular for "go have sex and travel". Big Brother is for fiction - not for real life!

 

So I do not want the app thank you very much, not that we go anywhere apart from Big C and the local wet market, but my phone has my UK and Thai banking apps on it and other private stuff and I do not want the police, well known for criminal activities and corruption, gaining access to it. Being assured that neither will nor can happen is not comforting. And as it is an older phone installing another app would mean getting rid of a more useful one.

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have a look at this thread (not so much the article itself) - 

If you can find it there was another news item about the govt. retracting the statement about it being compulsory as of course many lower paid Thais don't necessarily own a smart phone or have internet access.

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1 hour ago, Ireland32 said:

I have both on my phone Light Blue in Thailand and dark blue for MorChsna and Line too

Good for you - shows you have a modern phone, but doesn't address the OP's question, or the title of the thread does it? 🤔

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I'll not dump my banking or mapping apps or LINE in order to install something that snoops on me. I've got an old Samsung J2 that has served me well for some years and no inclination to change it, it has precious little memory anyway, most of which seems to be hogged by the OS. Access to my phone would reveal passwords, bank details, tax details etc none of which are any business of the Thai Government so they can go pee up a rope on that one I think.

 

It still seems an optional extra so I decline as in Sect. 4 of their T's & C's  - I trust none of their promises and in any event all their promises are subject to "National Security" and we all know what that means - forget the promises.

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57 minutes ago, cliveshep said:

I'll not dump my banking or mapping apps or LINE in order to install something that snoops on me. I've got an old Samsung J2 that has served me well for some years and no inclination to change it, it has precious little memory anyway, most of which seems to be hogged by the OS. Access to my phone would reveal passwords, bank details, tax details etc none of which are any business of the Thai Government so they can go pee up a rope on that one I think.

 

It still seems an optional extra so I decline as in Sect. 4 of their T's & C's  - I trust none of their promises and in any event all their promises are subject to "National Security" and we all know what that means - forget the promises.

 

I am 100% in agreement regarding the "trust" issue. That said, and I can only speak about iOS on my iPhone, but I believe the same is true under Android, apps are "sandboxed", and cannot access the data stored by other apps. In other words MorChana cannot read passwords you have stored in a password keeper app, or see the logins you use in other apps, or access documents you have saved in other apps. But, that does not prevent things like clipboards from being accessed, which, if you are not cautious, might temporarily contain sensitive information. Furthermore, if you are not careful, it is easy to allow access to your photos, mic, camera, gps, etc. The apps are not on my phone. I manually sign the log books at each place I visit. I am quite happy to work with the government in their efforts to contain the virus, but I don't like installing more apps, and I don't have any confidence in Thai government apps, with regards to privacy, stability, or any other aspect.

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On 1/22/2021 at 12:56 PM, cliveshep said:

So I want to know were these police officers correct in law - 2 years in prison and 200,000 baht fine if the app was not installed, or - as I believe - wrong because it is NOT an offence not to have the app on a phone although if one does not and subsequently got infected that might be an offence - IF one had a phone?

First it was announced that the app was mandatory, soon after it was not, as not everybody has a smart phone (or data subscription), but some kind of registering is compulsory.

 

The fine mentioned is 40,000 baht for covering up one's travel history, app or not.

 

Quote

On Thursday, CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin switched from recommending MorChana to suggesting its use was mandatory in Thailand, warning of severe punishment for those who refused to obey. However, after loud public complaints that the move invaded privacy and was unfair to those who don’t own a smartphone, Taweesilp quickly backtracked.

 

Authorities subsequently made clear that while they strongly recommend the use of MorChana, no one would be punished for not downloading the app.

Source: Thai PBS "A closer look at Thailand’s (non-mandatory) contact tracing apps".

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Food for thought: Let's say you install the app and use it conscientiously, then someone comes down with Covid in a place you had also visited. Will you then be required to go into quarantine?

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46 minutes ago, J Town said:

Food for thought: Let's say you install the app and use it conscientiously, then someone comes down with Covid in a place you had also visited. Will you then be required to go into quarantine?

Yes.

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I have the app, but it does not work as my phone has no internet connection without wi fi.

 

So is it compulsory to have a phone contract and internet connection?

 

I just use the wi fi in the shops I go to. But some don't have it. Also have to get into the shopping center first before connecting. So I just wrote down my number in the book....with the pen that everybody else has been touching. 

 

Many times I don't even take the phone out with me. Is it legal to never have it off your person? 

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Just now, jak2002003 said:

I have the app, but it does not work as my phone has no internet connection without wi fi.

 

So is it compulsory to have a phone contract and internet connection?

 

I just use the wi fi in the shops I go to. But some don't have it. Also have to get into the shopping center first before connecting. So I just wrote down my number in the book....with the pen that everybody else has been touching. 

 

Many times I don't even take the phone out with me. Is it legal to never have it off your person? 

Knowing how pedantic the local authorities can be, I suspect they want you to have it at all times. My personal plan is to have it on my phone but never use it for fear of being forced into quarantine. That way, if I'm ever stopped at a checkpoint, I can show them as a dutiful citizen I am sporting the app.

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1 minute ago, J Town said:

Knowing how pedantic the local authorities can be, I suspect they want you to have it at all times. My personal plan is to have it on my phone but never use it for fear of being forced into quarantine. That way, if I'm ever stopped at a checkpoint, I can show them as a dutiful citizen I am sporting the app.

You think like me. But I really can't use it too....even if I wanted to as I have no internet out of the house. 

 

If they were to look at mine they would see no history and I would be accused of not using it on purpose. 

 

Regarding your quarantine question, I just presume that is the reason to have the app...and from what I have seen it appears that if someone had covid at a place, the people also that were there are tracked down with the app and have to be tested and isolated until they get the results. I admit I may be totally wrong, but that is my understanding.

 

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Just now, jak2002003 said:

You think like me. But I really can't use it too....even if I wanted to as I have no internet out of the house. 

 

If they were to look at mine they would see no history and I would be accused of not using it on purpose.<snip>

 

I don't think they'd go to that much trouble. There's no money in it for the inspecting BiB whether or not you're using it. I would imagine it would just be a perfunctory inspection, like the traffic stops they used to have for drivers license.

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36 minutes ago, jak2002003 said:

I have the app, but it does not work as my phone has no internet connection without wi fi.

 

So is it compulsory to have a phone contract and internet connection?

 

I just use the wi fi in the shops I go to. But some don't have it. Also have to get into the shopping center first before connecting. So I just wrote down my number in the book....with the pen that everybody else has been touching. 

 

Many times I don't even take the phone out with me. Is it legal to never have it off your person? 

This is Thailand, run by an unelected "PM" and crew with very little thinking power, typical of a Military Academy education.

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I'll admit to not staying up to the minute on the status of the MorChana app, but am pretty sure it is not mandatory, nor required by any law. The "regulation" "encourages" use.

 

Its use has been encouraged, during the daily CCSA briefings, with appeals to citizenship and patriotism, and a lot of waffling.

 

With ~ 7 million downloads obviously a lot of Thais not reading this as mandatory.

 

Keeping the "citizenry" confused about laws is a feature of the Thai "legal" system.

 

As with all things here, YMMV.

 

Dr Taweesilp cleared the air in the afternoon in a post on his personal Facebook page. “I apologise for the misunderstanding. Not having the app does not land you in jail. The full sentence is if you are infected and conceal information, and we can’t find the app on your mobile phone, you will be considered violating the regulation,” he wrote.  

 

Think he's said that if you can document your movements (google maps timeline should work?) you're abiding by the "regulation".

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11 hours ago, jak2002003 said:

I have the app, but it does not work as my phone has no internet connection without wi fi.

 

So is it compulsory to have a phone contract and internet connection?

 

I just use the wi fi in the shops I go to. But some don't have it. Also have to get into the shopping center first before connecting. So I just wrote down my number in the book....with the pen that everybody else has been touching. 

 

Many times I don't even take the phone out with me. Is it legal to never have it off your person? 

The answers to your question is no.

 

Visited Chiang Mai last Wednesday. There were two checkpoints on the outer ring road. At the first checkpoint, they checked our temperature and ensured that we had masks. Then gave us a card to scan before arriving at the next checkpoint where they checked phones for a confirmation message.

 

At the second checkpoint we were asked to pull over to the side as there was no message on our phone that only uses local wi-fi and no service was available. So, we had to fill in a form. All was good and we continued our journey.

 

A few hours later we began our return journey and at both places we stopped when incoming there were no checkpoints. So, I guess we're still recorded as being in Chiang Mai.

 

Made me think about a distinct possibility that once your phones logged on the tracking app, you're tracked wherever you go.

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10 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

I'll admit to not staying up to the minute on the status of the MorChana app, but am pretty sure it is not mandatory, nor required by any law. The "regulation" "encourages" use.

That's wrong. It is compulsory to use (actually it says you have to use both apps), as written in the ministerial order published in the royal gazette (making it "law" and you could go to jail if you don't use it, if they enforce this is of course a different matter...):

 

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On the website of the Thai embassy in Paris http://www.thaiembassy.fr/fr/voyagecovid/, they say it is compulsory to download Thailand before boarding and to show it on arrival http://https:/qrgo.page.link/s9zH9

 

Being tracked, in addition to quarantine and other will not entice tourists to come back

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On 1/24/2021 at 8:09 PM, Pilotman said:

In accordance with the instructions, I have Mor Chana app on both of my mobiles.  'Location' is not selected on either of them.

 

No idea what's in the T's and C's any footnotes.

 

Point I made was that getting in was a P.I.A,. Yet, once  within the designated area there were no efforts to ensure that we had left. Which, in I.M.O. is a pretty stupid (and pointless) thing to be doing.

 

Your phone is tracked (by registration and pinging) wherever you go. That's how calls get directed to you from; whomever, wherever and other folks don't receive your call. It wouldn't take an exotic app to track your phone, with limited access allowed.

 

If you crewed a GR4 (particularly in the back seat), you would be aware of such things.

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1 minute ago, alacrity said:

 

No idea what's in the T's and C's any footnotes.

 

Point I made was that getting in was a P.I.A,. Yet, once  within the designated area there were no efforts to ensure that we had left. Which, in I.M.O. is a pretty stupid (and pointless) thing to be doing.

 

Your phone is tracked (by registration and pinging) wherever you go. That's how calls get directed to you from; whomever, wherever and other folks don't receive your call. It wouldn't take an exotic app to track your phone, with limited access allowed.

 

If you crewed a GR4 (particularly in the back seat), you would be aware of such things.

no idea what you are talking about and the GR4 was a single  seat aircraft. 

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  • 6 months later...

What happens if I refuse at the airport to download the two tracking apps ? Or what happens if I have an old dumb phone no camera for QR code’s and no App Store or GPS or even internet just like the food old days ? Yes I have a phone but I’m actually smart enough that I don’t need a smart phone for you to snoop and track me big brother.

 

any ideas ? I’m going to ask what’s your source or how can I confirm your answer is accurate. Thanks

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