Heavy sanctions needed to prevent illegal trade of personal data

December 16, 2021 | 08:25 am GMT+7

The personal data of many Vietnamese users is being illegally appropriated and even traded in the cyberspace.


Vietnam is one of the countries with the highest Internet application and development speed in the world. As of January 2021, the number of Internet users in Vietnam reached more than 68.72 million, accounting for more than two thirds of the population (70.3%).

In that context, personal data becomes an important input for economic and social development. However, the illegal purchase and sale of personal data has become a big problem in Vietnam.

Colonel Nguyen Ngoc Cuong, Deputy Director of the Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention (A05) of the Ministry of Public Security, told the Vietnam Internet Day event that purchase and sale of personal data is very common in Vietnam. Many acts have not been handled because of the lack of legal provisions.

Specifically, many businesses and service companies collect personal data of customers and allow third parties to access the data without strict requirements, and third parties then trade the data to other partners. Many businesses collect personal information of customers, form a personal data warehouse, analyze and process the data to sell. In 2019 and 2020, the Ministry of Public Security discovered hundreds of individuals and organizations involved in selling personal data.

According to this police officer, more than 80 countries in the world have enacted legal documents on the protection of personal data and Vietnam should have specific regulations on personal data handling activities.

He also emphasized the role of state management agencies in personal data collection and processing activities. The legitimate rights and interests of citizens must be guaranteed in data processing activities.

The head of the Department of Cybersecurity and High-Tech Crime Prevention said that measures to protect personal data should be specified in legal documents. In addition, it is necessary to have appropriate sanctions, which are heavy enough to deter violations of the law on protection of personal data.