Vietnam puts top priority to personal information security
One critical matter in Vietnam at present is to ensure the security and safety of its Population Database, which is developed by the Public Security Ministry and is fully exploited by various ministries and state agencies for socio-economic growth.
Minister of Public Security To Lam has just announced that the police are investigating the information leak of 30 million individuals, supposedly from the Education and Training Ministry. Before that, theses information pieces were sold publicly by hacker Meli0das.
Even though Vietnam has a basic legal frame to protect personal data, the sanctions are considered too light, while the impacts of privacy infringement might be quite serious in certain cases as they can damage the honor, dignity, and safety of victims.
Therefore, it is suggested to add more provisions on criminal liability for violation of personal data into the Penal Code. Some serious violations on the law to protect personal data like illegally collecting, exploiting, and selling personal data can be considered a crime. It is also necessary to increase the effectiveness of the personal data protection mechanism via civil lawsuits.
The National Population Database is a national property, and thus earning level-4 protection and management. The data collection and management from central to local levels must be detailed, and specialized technical monitoring must be done round the clock to prevent cyberattacks.
For the two years from 2019, the Public Security Ministry discovered hundreds of individuals and organizations in professional trading lines carrying out personal data stealing. The amount of personal data illegally sold came to 1,300GB, including different kinds of sensitive information.
The Criminal Police Department (under the Public Security Ministry) has just warned the public not to post or share images of the citizen ID cards or bank accounts onto social networks, which are quite popularly and carelessly done in Vietnam. Personal information should not be provided online to non-essential services with no commitment to ensuring the safety for such information on the cyber space.
During the national digital transformation process, personal data are a valuable resource for the growth of a digital society and economy. That demands an even higher level of protection for this special national asset. This is not only the responsibility of competent agencies but the duty of each individual in the community when participating in activities on the digital space.