Vietnam Data Localization: The Ultimate Guide to Follow

vietnam data localization

In today's data-driven world, understanding international regulations on data privacy and localization is paramount for global businesses.

Companies operating or aiming to establish in Vietnam must conform to the nation’s stringent cyber-security laws, which include specific requirements around Data Localization.

Vietnam data localization is about new rules in Vietnam that tell businesses where and how to keep customer data safe.

This guide will help you understand these rules better. If you run a business in Vietnam or have customers there, it's essential to have at least a foundation level of knowledge about Vietnam data localization.

Let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Vietnam rolled out a new regulation called the PDPD Act. It mandates businesses to store people's personal data inside Vietnam's borders. It's supposed to keep everyone's info safer.
  • If businesses don't play by these new rules, the government can hit them with fines or other punishments.
  • Captain Compliance helps businesses handle these regulations properly, and we've got tools and advice so businesses can stay on the right side of the law.

Vietnam PDPD Act Explained

Vietnam’s PDPD Act came into force on July 1, 2023, and includes a bunch of data localization laws about personal data protection rules for protecting people's personal. Let’s break it down for you.

The PDPD Act applies to all businesses that process activities in Vietnam, regardless of their nationality or location.

This means that even if a business is based outside of Vietnam but processes the personal data of Vietnamese individuals, it still falls under the scope of the PDPD Act and must comply with its requirements

Basically, it says that any business operating in Vietnam must store customer information - think emails, phone numbers, and especially sensitive data - inside the country. The big idea behind data residency is to keep all that data safe.

Vietnam is now one of several countries that has implemented a data localization law. These regulations require businesses to store and process personal information within their borders rather than transferring it abroad. This means any business operating in Vietnam – even if its headquarters are located outside the country – must comply with these rules.

On top of that, the PDPD Act also requires businesses to obtain consent from individuals before collecting or processing their personal information. Businesses must also be transparent about how they use this data and promptly inform customers if their information has been compromised.

The PDPD Act lays out that certain businesses, like phone carriers and online retailers, have to keep specific data in Vietnam for at least two years.

Who Must Follow Vietnam’s PDPD Data Localization?

In Vietnam, there are new rules about where businesses should keep their data. Not every business has to follow these rules, but many do. Let's see who needs to listen to these rules:

Types of Businesses

There are specific businesses that need to follow these rules. This includes:

  • Phone businesses (telecom services).
  • Businesses that let people store data on the internet (like cloud storage and big tech).
  • Businesses that give out website names to consumers in Vietnam.
  • Online shops (e-commerce).
  • Businesses that handle online payments or help with them.
  • Services that connect transport, like ride-hailing apps.
  • Social media sites and online games.
  • Any service that deals with messages, calls, video chats, emails, or online chats.

Domestic and Foreign Businesses

Both Vietnamese businesses and some foreign businesses need to follow these rules. For example, if a foreign online shop sells to people in Vietnam, they need to keep certain data in Vietnam for at least 24 months.

Why It Matters

The cybersecurity law helps keep data safe. If businesses don't follow them, they might get into trouble. It's important for businesses to know these rules so they can do the right thing and keep their customer's data safe.

Vietnam Data Localization Requirements

Vietnam has set rules about where businesses should keep data. This means the data must stay in Vietnam. These rules aim to protect personal information and boost trust in online services. Let's dive into the details!

What's the Rule About?

Vietnam's Law on Cyber Security and Decree 53/2022 set clear guidelines. Basically, Vietnam wants certain kinds of data to stay inside the country's borders. The main reason is to keep that info under their control.

They don't want sensitive data getting into the wrong hands or leaving their jurisdiction, and with these new laws, Vietnam is trying to gain more oversight of its digital landscape.

What Data Needs to Stay in Vietnam?

According to Article 26.1 of Decree 53/2022, there are specific categories of data that businesses must store within Vietnam:

  • Personal information: the basics like names, addresses, date of birth, all those details that pinpoint exactly who an individual is.
  • User-Generated Data: So think usernames, posts, comments, any photos or videos the consumers uploaded, really anything they intentionally created and even just when they logged on or off a site.
  • Interaction Data: This captures the records of consumers' online interactions. It means data about whom they communicate with, who they might play online games with, or any other form of online engagement.

What Do Local Businesses Need to Do?

Local businesses operating within Vietnam's borders have specific responsibilities under the new regulations. This includes:

  • Keep Data in Vietnam: Every data controller in Vietnam, even if they have their headquarters from other countries, needs to keep certain data right here in Vietnam.
  • Who This Requirement Applies To: This requirement is for all businesses in Vietnam, big or small.
  • How Long to Keep the Data: The rules say businesses need to keep the data in Vietnam, but they don't say for how long. So, businesses are waiting for more details on this.

What About Foreign Businesses?

Foreign businesses trying to make their mark in Vietnam deal with trials and tribulations unique to the region. Providers of phone lines, e-commerce stores, social media platforms, and any other internet-based services need to watch their steps.

If foreign businesses want to operate in Vietnam, they must comply with Vietnamese laws and regulations regarding data storage. This means storing the required categories of data within Vietnam's borders.

Businesses that fail to comply risk facing penalties from authorities in Vietnam. These can include fines, suspension or revocation of a business license, and even criminal charges.

How to Implement Data Localization in Vietnam

Navigating the world of data localization in Vietnam can be tricky, especially for businesses unfamiliar with the landscape.

Luckily, the PDPD tells local and foreign businesses exactly where and how they should can keep data. It can be confusing at first, though! But we want to explain it in simple steps so businesses can get what they need to do.

Identify Your Data

Businesses need to figure out what data they've got. That means taking a good, hard look at all the information they're grabbing and using.

It's not just about getting folks' names and where they live; it's also stuff like what people are buying, who they're chatting with on the internet, and when they're logging into the internet.

All the information you’re collecting should be identified and documented.

Understand the PDPD

The PDPD, a part of Vietnam's compliance framework, is their set of rules about data. It tells businesses what they need to do with the data they have.

This includes where to keep it and how to protect it. So, businesses need to spend some time learning these rules to make sure they're doing things right.

Set Up Local Data Storage

Once businesses know the rules, they need a place to keep their data in Vietnam. This might mean finding a local business to help or setting up their own storage system. Either way, the data needs to stay safe and in Vietnam.

Establish a Local Representative

Some foreign businesses might need a local person or office in Vietnam. This person can help them follow the rules and talk to the Vietnamese government if needed. It's like having a helper on the ground to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Use Captain Compliance

All this probably sounds super confusing and difficult, but don't stress! Captain Compliance is here to cover you, especially if you're looking to outsource compliance.

We're experts when it comes to personal data protection compliance services and can walk you through everything you need to do to stay compliant step-by-step. With our help, you can be sure your business is keeping data secure and following regulations.

And keeping your data safe isn't just about ticking boxes and following rules. It's also about taking care of your consumers and earning their trust, so work with us, and let's do this thing together!

Data compliance doesn't have to be scary or frustrating. Captain Compliance is here with its compliance solutions to be your guide and make the process as smooth as possible.

Penalties for PIPL Non-Compliance

Vietnam wants businesses, whether they're local or from overseas, to store certain kinds of personal data on servers inside Vietnam.

If the businesses don't follow the rules, the government can slap them with fines or other penalties. Fines vary and can add up. An example fine would be 70 million VND ($3,000) for one violation of illegal sales and purchase or transfer of personal information.

And it isn’t just about money either. Businesses that break the rules might get shut down or sued or deal with other legal headaches and even up to three years in jail if the law is broken.

That's definitely not good for business or reputation. So, if you want to keep operating in Vietnam, you must get with the program and store people's data where the government wants it.

There's also the trust issue. Vietnamese consumers care about their privacy and public security. If it seems like a business isn't protecting its data, chances are good consumers will just find another option. So really, following the law is just smart business in the long run.


Figuring out all of Vietnam's tricky data localization rules can be super confusing and stressful. Keeping up with ongoing compliance stuff and any changes that pop up is so important. But trying to manage all these rules and steps can feel totally overwhelming!

That's where Captain Compliance's compliance plan can help out. We offer resources and tools specifically made to simplify this whole journey for businesses, and whether you're just starting your compliance adventure or want to improve what you're already doing, we're here to guide you and offer support.

Partnering with us means you don't have to figure out these complicated things on your own. By making sure you're compliant, you not only protect your business from potential penalties but also strengthen the trust your consumers have in you. With Captain Compliance, you'll always stay one step ahead, so reach out to us today!


What is Vietnam data localization all about?

Vietnam data localization is about rules that tell businesses in Vietnam where to store user data. It's to make sure that certain data stays in the country to keep it safe.

Thinking of doing business in Vietnam? Captain Compliance can guide you through the data rules!

Why did Vietnam introduce these data rules?

Vietnam introduced these rules to protect its citizens' data and to have better control over online activities within its borders. It's all about safety and trust.

Need to understand Vietnam's online safety measures? Reach out to Captain Compliance!

How can businesses ensure they're following Vietnam's data rules correctly?

Businesses can work with experts, like Captain Compliance, to understand the rules better. They can also set up local data storage and have a local representative in Vietnam.

Processing personal data in other Asian countries like China with even stricter data localization rules? Find out more here.

What happens if a business doesn't follow Vietnam's data rules?

If businesses don't follow the rules, they might face fines or other penalties. It's important to be aware and stay compliant to avoid any issues.

Concerned about potential penalties? Read our guide!