Vietnam: MIC requests comments on draft decree on internet services
On July 17, 2023, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) requested public comments on a draft Decree to replace Decree No. 72/2013-ND-CP dated July 15, 2013 of the Government on management, provision and use of internet services and online information and Decree No. 27/2018/ND-CP dated March 1, 2018 of the Government amending and supplementing Decree No. 72/2013/ND-CP.
The draft Decree applies to the management, provision, and use of internet services, online information, online video games, assurance of network information safety and information security, and rights and obligations of organizations and individuals involved.
Notably, the draft Decree provides that organizations and enterprises operating in Vietnam may only set up general websites and provide social networking services when they have a license to do so. More specifically, the draft Decree outlines classification standards for social networks dependent on the number of visitors to the website. This includes:
- social networks with a large number of regular visitors - visitors of 10,000 people or more over six consecutive months, or up to or more than 1,000 regular members a month; and
- social networks with a low number of regular visitors - visitors of less than 10,000 people over six consecutive months, or less than 1,000 regular members a month.
Organizations providing social networking services with an information content management department must have one person in charge of content management that is a Vietnamese citizen under the draft Decree.
The draft Decree also stipulates technical conditions for social networks, including the registration and storage of members' personal information. In case the user is below 14 years of age and does not have an identity card number, citizen identification number, or passport number, date of issue, place of issue, or mobile phone number in Vietnam, the legal guardian must register the guardian's personal information. Social networks must also ensure user authentication by mobile phone number when registering an account.
Cross-border data transfers
In addition, the draft Decree details obligations for foreign organizations and individuals providing services on a cross-border basis and using data storage leasing services in Vietnam, or that have 100,000 total visits for six consecutive months from Vietnam. These include, among other things:
- notifying the MIC within 60 days of reaching the number of visitors stipulated above;
- preventing and removing illegal content, services, and applications at the request of the MIC;
- storing the personal information of Vietnamese users, and providing such personal information to competent State authorities on request;
- only allowing users in Vietnam over the age of 16 years or older to register for an account;
- having a specialized department for receiving, processing, and responding to requests from competent authorities, and resolving and responding to complaints from Vietnamese users; and
- within 48 hours of receiving complaints from Vietnamese users, handling complaints by blocking content.
Public comments can be submitted here until September 15, 2023.
You can read the draft Decree, only available in Vietnamese, here.