Tech firms asked to store user data in Vietnam

In its most recent effort to tighten cybersecurity regulations, the Vietnamese government has mandated technology companies to keep customer data locally and establish local offices.

The new guidelines, which were announced in a decree on Wednesday, will go into effect on October 1 for telecommunications providers as well as social media platforms like Facebook (META.O) and Google (GOOGL.O), which are owned by Alphabet Inc.

The decree required domestic storage of “data of all internet users, ranging from financial records and biometric data to information on people’s ethnicity and political opinions, or any data created by users while browsing the internet.”

According to the decree, authorities would 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 purpose of investigations.

Upon obtaining orders from the Minister of Public Security, foreign companies 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.

Google and Meta, two tech companies approached by the media, did not immediately respond to demands for comment.

The Communist Party, which governs Vietnam, imposes strict media censorship and tolerates little opposition. Over the past few years, it has tightened internet regulations, culminating in a cybersecurity law that went into effect in 2019 and national social media behavior standards published in June of last year.

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