Vietnam Orders Tech Firms to Store User Data Locally

A person using Facebook

Vietnam has ordered tech firms to store user data locally and establish local offices in a new move to tighten cybersecurity regulations.

Reuters reports that the new rules, which were announced in a decree on Wednesday, will go into effect on 1 October for telecommunications providers as well as social media platforms, including Meta (Facebook) and Google.

“Data of all internet users ranging from financial records and biometric data to information on peoples’ ethnicity and political views, or any data created by users while surfing the internet must be to stored domestically,” the decree states.

Vietnamese authorities will have the authority to order service providers to remove content that they believe to be in violation of the law and to request data collection for the purposes of investigations.

Upon receiving instructions from the Minister of Public Security, foreign firms will have 12 months to establish local data storage facilities and representative offices. The data must be kept onshore for a minimum of 24 months.

Vietnam tightened rules governing internet use over the past few years, with a new cybersecurity law enacted in 2019 as well as guidelines on social media use introduced in June last year.