Vietnam orders tech firms to store user data on land

Vietnam orders tech firms to store user data on land

A netizen browses the Vietnamese government’s new Facebook page in Hanoi, December 30, 2015.

HANOI, Aug 18 (Portal) – The Vietnamese government has ordered tech companies to store their users’ data locally and set up local offices, their latest move to tighten cybersecurity rules.

The new rules, issued in a decree on Wednesday, apply to social media companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Meta’s Facebook (META.O), as well as telecom operators, and come into effect on October 1 Power.

“Data of all Internet users, ranging from financial records and biometric data to information about people’s ethnicity and political views, or any data created by users while browsing the Internet, must be stored domestically,” it says in the decree.

Authorities have the right to make data-gathering requests for investigative purposes and to request service providers to remove content deemed to be in violation of government guidelines, the decree added.

Foreign firms have 12 months to set up local data storage and representative offices after receiving instructions from the Public Security Minister, and must store the data onshore for a minimum period of 24 months, according to the decree.

Two technology companies contacted by Portal, Google and Meta, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Vietnam is ruled by the Communist Party, which maintains strict media censorship and little tolerance for dissent. It has tightened internet rules in recent years, resulting in a cybersecurity law that came into force in 2019 and national guidelines on social media behavior introduced in June last year.

Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Adaptation by Kanupriya Kapoor

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