American businesses have just sent a letter to Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to protest against the new regulation that requires technology companies to store user data in Vietnam.
According to Bloomberg, the letter was sent on September 9 by the American Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, and the Asian Internet Alliance representing major technology firms including Google, Meta, and Amazon.
According to the letter, the obligation imposed on technology firms in the new regulation “is a huge burden on affected businesses and can have a significant impact on the business and investment environment in Vietnam.”
In the letter, American businesses also pointed out that the wording of some articles of the new regulation “is ambiguous and creates uncertainty regarding response actions when necessary.”
On August 15, the Government of Vietnam issued Decree 53/2022/ND-CP according to which technology firms, data storage service providers, and media companies are obliged to store user data in Vietnam for at least 24 months. Foreign firms have 12 months to set up local data repositories and representative offices after receiving instructions from the Ministry of Public Security.
Authorities have the right to make data collection requests for investigation and request service providers to remove content that violates government guidelines and policies.
The data to be stored includes personal information of service users in Vietnam; data created by service users in Vietnam (service account name, usage time, credit card information, email address, last login/logout network address, the registered phone number associated with the account or data); data on the relationship of service users in Vietnam: friends, groups with which the user connects or interacts.
The new decree will come into effect from October 1.
The State Department as well as Google and Facebook have not yet commented on this new letter.