Vietnam to tighten up conditions on Facebook and Google

By Ba Do   November 3, 2018 | 06:37 am PT
Vietnam to tighten up conditions on Facebook and Google
A man uses his smartphone to surf Facebook in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Nga
A draft decree on implementing the Cybersecurity Law will enforce tougher conditions on tech businesses like Facebook and Google.

The Ministry of Public Security has publicized the draft decree to collect feedback for a month starting Friday.

The law says local and foreign digital and tech businesses will have to open a representative office in Vietnam and store users’ data.

Companies providing services on telecom networks, internet, additional services on cyberspace with business activities in Vietnam like telecom services, hosting and sharing data on cyberspace, ecommerce, online payment, social networking and social media and email services will fall under the gambit of the new law.

These companies will have to submit users’ data to the ministry upon receipt of requests in writing, in cases where any infringement of the Cybersecurity Law is being investigated.

Up to 19 types of personal information of users must be stored, including full name, date of birth, place of birth, nationality, career, position, place of residence, address, email address, phone number, ID number, passport number, social security number, credit card number, health status, biometry.

They also have to store the data created by users in Vietnam, including information they upload, data on the relationship of service users in Vietnam, including friends and groups they connect or interact.

The ministry will decide the duration for which such businesses must store users’ data in Vietnamese territory, but it must be at least 12 months for personal information of users and at least 36 months for information that users create on the platforms.

If passed, the decree will take effect on January 1 next year.

Vietnam’s main legislative body, the National Assembly, passed the Cybersecurity Law in June.

Aside from regulations on opening representative offices and storing users’ data for business, the law bans internet users from organizing, encouraging or training other people for anti-state purposes.

Users are not allowed to distort history, negate the nation’s revolutionary achievements, undermine national solidarity, offend religions and discriminate on the basis of gender and race.

The law also prohibits the spreading of incorrect information which causes confusion among people, damages socio-economic activities, creates difficulties for authorities and those performing their duty, violates the legal rights and benefits of other organizations and individuals.

The Cybersecurity Law, which was approved by the National Assembly in June this year, had raised concerns among several parliament members and experts that the country could end up violating its commitments as a member of the World Trade Organization, and as a signatory to the E.U.-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The law will come into force on January 1, 2019.

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