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May 24, 2018

Regulation of Cross-Border Transfers of Personal Data in Asia – Vietnam Chapter

Asian Business Law Institute

Tilleke & Gibbins has contributed the Thailand and Vietnam chapters of Regulation of Cross-Border Transfers of Personal Data in Asia, published by the Asian Business Law Institute (ABLI). The guide provides an overview of the data protection and privacy regimes in 14 jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific.

The Vietnam chapter of the guide covers the following topics:

General Legal Framework of International Data Transfers: Though Vietnam does not yet have a single comprehensive legal document on data privacy, provisions on protection of data privacy are spread across a number of laws, including the Civil Code, the Penal Code, and the Law on Information Technology. A consistent key principle is that an information owner must consent to the collection, processing, use, or transfer (including cross-border) of his or her personal information, and the use of such information must be in line with its stated purposes.

Default Position, Scope, and Territorial Effect: Vietnam does not currently have specific requirements with regard to international data transfers. Transfers generally require prior consent from the data subject, unless they are made under other legal obligations such as court orders. Encryption is required in the banking sector.

Data Localization: The latest version of the Draft Cybersecurity Law would introduce data localization requirements, where foreign enterprises providing telecom and internet services in Vietnam would be required to have a server located in Vietnam to store Vietnamese users’ data.

Data Transfer Mechanisms: Rules for the transfer of personal information both within and outside Vietnam are the same. The law generally does not require a specific form in which consent must be given, but the recommended best practice is clear, affirmative opt-in consent, and a signature on paper is preferable.

Waewpen Piemwichai, a registered foreign attorney in the Hanoi office of Tilleke & Gibbins, contributed the Vietnam chapter as part of the firm’s collaboration with the ABLI, a Singaporean institute led by prominent members of the judiciary and academic sector in Asia, with the aim to initiate, conduct, and facilitate research and produce authoritative texts to provide practical guidance in the field of Asian legal development and promote the convergence of Asian business laws.

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