Vietnam/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.8 Data protection laws

Until now Vietnam has had no law on data protection. However, together with the development of the application of information technology and e-commerce, state institutions are increasingly paying attention to this issue. Data protection has been included in some recent documents as follow:

In the Directive 27/CT-TƯ dated 16 October 2008 on the leadership of population and housing census for 2009, the secretariat of the Party had requested “paying attention to secure information to the requirements of laws, especially protection of individual information”.

Under civil perspective, the Civil Code (2005) has some principles to protect individual information as in article 31, “The right of an individual with respect to his/her picture” and article 38 “The right to personal secrets”. Article 31 defines that an individual shall own the right to his/her picture. The use of a picture of an individual must be with his/her consent; where such person has died, lost his/her civil act capacity, or is under fifteen years of age, the consent of his/her father, mother, husband, wife, adult children or representative is required, unless it is for State interests, public interests, or otherwise provided for by law. It is strictly forbidden to use pictures of other persons that infringe upon their honour, dignity and/or prestige. The article 38 identifies that an individual’s rights to personal secrets shall be respected and protected by law. The collection and publication of information and materials on the private life of an individual must be consented by that person; in cases where that person has died, lost his civil act capacity, or is under fifteen years of age, the consent of his/her father, mother, wife, husband, adult children or representative is required, except for cases where the collection and publication of information and materials are made by decision of a competent agency or organisation. Letters, telephonic conversations, telegrams, other forms of electronic information of individuals shall be guaranteed to be safe and confidential.  The inspection of an individual’s letters, telephones, telegrams and/or other forms of electronic information may be performed only in cases where it is so provided for by law and decided by competent state agencies.

The highest legislative document on e-transaction is the Law on e-Transaction (2005). The article 46 defines that agencies, organisations and individuals shall have the right to select security measures in accordance with the provisions of the law when conducting e-transactions; agencies, organisations and individuals must not use, provide, or disclose information on private and personal affairs or information of other agencies, organisations and/or individuals, which is accessible by them or under their control in e-transactions without the latter's consents, unless otherwise provided for by law.

In June 2006, Vietnam’s National Assembly adopted the law on information technology, which regulates information technology application and development activities, measures to ensure information technology application and development, and the rights and obligations of bodies, organisations and individuals engaged in information technology application and development activities. The law has more specific regulations on the responsibilities of collecting, using, processing and storing individual information of other persons in web space such as in article 21 and article 22. Article 72 defines that lawful personal information of an organisation or individual being exchanged, transmitted, or stored in the network environment shall be kept confidential in accordance with law.


Chapter published: 30-11-2013


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