Data protection the main challenge for Vietnam’s digital economy

The prerequisite condition for the development of the digital economy is an assurance of the protection of the rights of privacy and personal information, say experts.

Vietnam’s digital economy has shown consistent growth in terms of infrastructure system and business market over the past ten years, according to a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies and Media Development.

Vietnam had 17.7 million internet users in 2007, with the figure ballooning to 64 million by the end of 2017, accounting for 67% of the population, and bringing the country to the 13th place among the 20 nations with the highest number of internet users.

Vietnam currently has three digital economy systems, in telecommunications, information technology, and e-commerce. In 2016, the country hauled in revenues of US$5 billion from e-commerce.

Last year, 21 e-commerce start-ups received foreign investment capital worth a total of US$83 million, taking the lead among the list of industries attracting investment capital. The M&A trend among e-commerce businesses in Vietnam has also developed steadily in both the value and quantity of deals.

There has been similarly robust growth in the telecoms and IT market. Over the past six years, 7% of newly-established businesses have emerged from these fields, generating more than 852,000 jobs.

In parallel to the e-commerce boom, there has been a rapid development in cybersecurity risks,  from new types of threat, to Kaskerpy the number of cases and level of damage caused. According to global cybersecurity company Kaspersky, last year, 35% of internet users in Vietnam were likely to face cyberattacks, ranking sixth in the world.

According to statistics from the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT), under the Ministry of Information and Communications, Vietnam’s computer networks suffered more than 10,000 cyberattacks in 2017, causing losses of about VND12.3 trillion.

Both local and international experts say Vietnam has not devised an overall national strategy on cyber security and needs to pay special attention to building a comprehensive cyber security policy system.

The biggest challenges faced by businesses and state agencies are personal privacy violations, data leakages, and the illegal exploitation of personal data and information for commercial purposes.

Lawyer Nguyen Tien Lap from NHQuang & Associates law firm suggest special attention should be paid to privacy protection and data security. ‘ With our complete legal system,  it is not necessary to issue new laws but we need to actualise the existing legal regulations to ensure law enforcement is strictly observed,” he emphasizes

Manyexperts say any effectuation of legal regulations on the protection of personal data needs to ensure the rights to access information in accordance with the Law on Access to Information.

Mr Trieu Tran Duc, General Director of Joint Stock Information Security Company CMC InfoSec, says the development of the digital economy is an inevitable trend, as a result of which, governments must be willing to facilitate businesses’ access to data sources in a public manner.

Duc also emphasized the need to build a decentralized system and keep a record of  businesses’ activities to avoid disclosing personal data or national secrets, while refining the policy framework and technical foundation for data security.

Source: VOV