Thailand has been considering tracking tourists with phone technology, and now plans have been approved by the nation’s telecom regulator.
The purpose of the move is to catch visitors who overstay their visa, according to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), who also considers the technology not to be an invasion of privacy.
Phones for tourists would come with special SIM cards that would have tracking that could not be disabled.
The regulator also made mention of how the tracking could be used on Thai nationals as well, saying it could help police catch criminals on the run, although police would need a warrant in these cases.
The government stated they liked the plan: “It will be helpful, if any foreigner comes and commit crimes, because in the past they have been able to flee or it can be difficult to find them,” said Pongsathorn Chansri, an official in the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.
Tourists will still be able to use SIMs brought from their own countries and use those, however, said NBTC.