Cybersecurity law in Vietnam and data privacy issue

Vietnam’s cybersecurity law has been passed on 12/6/2018, will officially come into effect on Jan 1st, 2019. This new law attracts attention, and contributions from many people. From the state management’s perspective, Cybersecurity Law is to protect national security. From business and users’ perspective, organizations that provide Internet services, social networks service, IT services companies, Fintech services, ecommerce websites and individuals whom use these services…. are directly affected groups.

At present, much of the information is stored on e-mail, social networking platforms…According to Article 26 of Vietnam Cybersecurity Law, it is required to “Store in Vietnam for the personal information of people who use services in Vietnam and the important data related to national security; Having headquarters or representative offices set up in Vietnam”. It is understood that only foreign organizations with headquarters or representative offices in Vietnam are permitted to provide internet, social networking, fintech services in Vietnam. Accordingly, to continue the related services in Vietnam, organizations providing services such as the internet, social networks, fintech services need to establish representative office in Vietnam and for storing data relating to users in Vietnam.

Point a, Clause 2 of Article 26 of Vietnam Cybersecurity Law regulates that organizations provide internet, social network services have to: “establish information authentication mechanism when user registers account; protect confidential information, user accounts; disclose users’ information to network security division under the Ministry of Public Security upon request in writing”.  It is suggested that, in order to protect the user’s information and to avoid abuse of power, the Ministry of Public Security should have specific guidelines for management.

According Article 21 of Vietnam’s Constitution in 2013: “everyone has the right to inviolability of private life, personal and confidential family secrets; have the right to defend the honor and prestige” “No one shall be permitted to open, control, illegally seize any correspondence, telephone, telegram and other forms of private communication.” With the introduction of the Vietnam Cybersecurity Law, the management of information, of service providers, and personal private information pose challenges in terms of data privacy.

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