Vietnam's Cybersecurity Law Threatens Free Trade

August 15, 2018

Vietnam's parliament has approved a new cybersecurity law that requires all companies doing business in the country to store their data locally -- a principle known as forced data localization. As Nigel Cory writes for Nikkei Asian Review, the legislation is the latest illustration of a growing trend toward using broad definitions of national security and the public interest to justify data protection rules that amount to digital protectionism. The country's trading partners should test the compatibility of the new law with Hanoi's international obligations at the earliest opportunity, not least as a means of discouraging other countries from following suit.