Vietnam’s Legal Framework for Personal Data Protection Initiated

Posted by Written by Giulia Interesse Reading Time: 4 minutes

Vietnam announced the development of the Law on Personal Data Protection to bolster data privacy measures and align regulations for a more cohesive framework. This initiative, along with the introduction of the PDPD in 2023, reflects the country’s proactive approach to addressing data protection challenges and fostering trust in its digital ecosystem.

On February 29, 2024, the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced the development of the Law on Personal Data Protection (hereinafter, “PDP Law”). This initiative, marked by the publication of a dossier on the government’s official website, is aimed at enhancing data privacy measures within the country.

The objective of the proposed PDP Law is to establish robust frameworks and regulations designed to guarantee the secure management, processing, and utilization of personal data. By doing so, the PDP Law aims to uphold citizens’ privacy rights and cultivate confidence in the country’s rapidly evolving digital environment.

Key takeaways from the PDP Law announcement

The announcement underscores significant developments in Vietnam’s efforts toward enhancing personal data protection. While a draft version of the new PDP Law has not yet been published, the dossier released by the government comprises a comprehensive report assessing current social dynamics related to personal data protection and an impact assessment of proposed policies within the Vietnam PDP Law.

Despite the focus on social-political considerations, the report and impact assessment also delve into key legislative issues. These include:

  • Defining personal data;
  • Outlining data subject rights; and
  • Establishing measures for data protection.

Following the release of the dossier for public consultation, the MPS plans to gather feedback through various channels, including workshops and conferences. These initiatives aim to foster broader engagement and insight from stakeholders.

The introduction of the PDP Law holds the promise of resolving conflicts between existing regulations, such as the Vietnam Personal Data Protection Decree (Decree No. 13/2023/ND-CP, hereinafter “PDPD”), and other laws concerning personal data protection. This alignment of legal frameworks is expected to contribute to a more cohesive and effective data protection environment.

However, stakeholders are cautioned that the drafting and issuance of the PDP Law may be a lengthy process, spanning two to three years. Regular updates on the law’s progress and timeline will be provided as developments unfold.

Evolution of Vietnam’s data protection legal framework

In Vietnam, individuals enjoy constitutional rights to privacy and the protection of personal secrets. Before July 2023, regulations governing personal data protection could be found in different laws. These included the Civil Code of 2015 and the Law on Cyber Information Security No. 86/2015/QH13. Additionally, sector-specific laws also played a role in shaping the legal landscape surrounding personal data protection.

The introduction of the PDPD in April 2023 represents a significant milestone in Vietnam’s data protection journey, consolidating and strengthening regulations previously dispersed across multiple laws. Effective on July 1, 2023, the PDPD mandates stringent requirements for businesses and organizations operating in Vietnam.

The PDPD introduces several key concepts and principles, including definitions for “basic personal data,” “sensitive personal data,” “data processor,” and “data controller.” It mandates adherence to fundamental data protection principles such as lawfulness, transparency, purpose limitation, data minimization, accuracy, integrity, confidentiality, and accountability.

Furthermore, the PDPD emphasizes the importance of data subject notification, consent, and rights. Data subjects must be informed about the collection and usage of their data, and their consent must be obtained explicitly. The regulation prohibits the collection, transfer, or sale of personal data without the data subject’s consent, and data subjects have the right to access and review their data.

In the event of a data breach or violation of the PDPD, organizations are required to notify the MPS within 72 hours and take appropriate measures to mitigate the incident’s consequences. Moreover, organizations must conduct regular impact assessments of their data processing activities and update them as necessary.

Non-compliance with the PDPD may result in administrative or criminal sanctions, as well as suspension of certain activities, underscoring the importance of adherence to data protection regulations in Vietnam.


Predictions about Vietnam’s data economy in 2024 suggest a significant transformation in the country’s economic landscape, particularly in sectors such as e-commerce, fintech, healthcare technology, and smart production. As businesses increasingly rely on data-based solutions, the growth of these sectors is projected to contribute significantly to the overall output of the economy. Cross-border agreements and initiatives focused on knowledge exchange are anticipated to facilitate technology transfer and expand market access opportunities, further fueling the growth of Vietnam’s data economy.

This heightened reliance on data underscores the critical importance of robust legal frameworks to ensure the privacy and security of individuals’ information.

The announcement regarding the PDP Law in Vietnam signals a pivotal step forward in the country’s commitment to safeguarding personal data and enhancing privacy rights in the digital age. This legislative initiative reflects Vietnam’s proactive approach to addressing the evolving challenges of data protection, thereby fostering trust in data handling practices.

Complying with Indonesia’s Personal Data Protection Law: Essential Steps for Businesses

Webinar | Tuesday, April 30, 2024 / 3:00 PM Jakarta / 4:00 PM China / 10:00 AM CET

Join our upcoming webinar as Hardy Salim, Assistant Manager of the Business Advisory Unit, takes you through an in-depth explanation of Indonesia’s Personal Data Protection law and what steps companies need to undertake to ensure compliance.

This webinar is free of charge

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Besides, the implementation of the PDP Law not only reinforces individual privacy rights but also positions Vietnam as a key player in the global digital economy, fostering sustainable growth and prosperity.

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