Accessibility links

Breaking News

Vietnam: Technology Companies Must Keep User Information Inside the Border

The mobile phone apps for, from left, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are shown on a device in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
The mobile phone apps for, from left, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are shown on a device in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
please wait

No media source currently available

0:00 0:02:41 0:00

The Vietnamese government has ordered big technology companies operating there to set up systems to keep user information more secure.

The first step: set up local offices and computer storage inside the country’s borders.

The move to protect information saved on computer networks will affect some of the world’s biggest media companies like Google and Meta, the company that runs Facebook.

The rule goes into effect on October 1.

The new rule covers a wide range of information. It includes financial records, identifying health and medical data, information about people’s ethnicity. And it includes any other information collected by companies that follow internet users as they move online.

Vietnamese officials say they will be able to request the information if it is needed for an investigation. The new rule also says media companies may be required to remove online material if it violates government guidelines.

Foreign technology companies will have 12 months to meet the rule’s requirements. They will need to set up computer storage devices and local offices. Once the information is stored within Vietnam, the companies will need to keep it for a minimum of two years.

Google and Meta did not respond to requests for comment from the Reuters news agency.

The new rules are the latest step by Vietnam’s Communist Party to tighten the flow of information online.

The nation’s leadership started with a cybersecurity law in 2019 and introduced guidelines about how to behave on social media last year.

I’m Dorothy Gundy

Dan Friedell adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on a report by Reuters.


Words in This Story

secure –adj. guarded so that no one can access something without approval

range –n. a group or collection of things that are similar in some ways

minimum –n. the least or smallest amount possible


We want to hear from you. What do you think about Vietnam’s new internet rules?

We have a new comment system. Here is how it works:

Write your comment in the box.

Under the box, you can see four images for social media accounts. They are for Disqus, Facebook, Twitter and Google.

Click on one image and a box appears. Enter the login for your social media account. Or you may create one on the Disqus system. It is the blue circle with “D” on it. It is free.

Each time you return to comment on the Learning English site, you can use your account and see your comments and replies to them. Our comment policy is here.