JAKARTA - The Vietnamese government has ordered technology companies to store their user data locally and set up local offices. This is Vietnam's latest move to tighten cybersecurity rules.
The new rules, issued in a decision on Wednesday, August 17, will apply to social media companies such as Alphabet Inc's Google. and Facebook owned by Meta, as well as telecommunications operators, and will take effect from October 1.
"The data of all internet users ranging from financial records and biometric data to information about people's ethnic and political views, or any data created by users while surfing the internet must be stored domestically," the decree said, as quoted by Reuters.
Authorities will have the right to issue data collection requests for investigative purposes and request service providers to remove content if it is deemed to violate government guidelines, the decision added.
Foreign companies will have 12 months to set up local data stores and representative offices after receiving instructions from the Ministry of Public Security, and must keep data onshore for a minimum period of 24 months, according to the decree.
Two technology companies contacted by Reuters, Google and Meta, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Vietnamese government is run by the Communist Party, which maintains strict media censorship and tolerates little dissent. These rules have tightened internet rules over the past few years, culminating in a cybersecurity law that came into effect in 2019 and national guidelines on social media behavior introduced in June last year.
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