The new rules, which were issued in a decree on Wednesday, will apply to social media companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Meta’s Facebook, as well as telecommunications operators, and will go into effect on October 1.
Data from all internet users, including financial records and biometric Data, information on people’s nationality and political views, as well as any Data created by users while surfing the internet, must be stored domestically, according to the decree.
Authorities will have the authority to issue Data collection requests for inquiry purposes and to request that service providers remove content that is deemed to violate government guidelines, according to the decree.
According to the decree, foreign firms will have 12 months after receiving instructions from the Minister of Public Security to establish local Data storage and representative offices and will be required to store the Data onshore for a minimum of 24 months.
Reuters reached out to Google and Meta, both of which did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Communist Party governs Vietnam, which maintains strict media censorship and tolerates little dissent. It has tightened internet rules in recent years, culminating in a cybersecurity law that went into effect in 2019 and national social media guidelines introduced in June of last year.