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Vietnam's cybersecurity law threatens free trade

Economic partners must challenge protectionist compulsory data localization rule

| Vietnam
A decision by Vietnam’s parliament to enforce the local storage of data might be challenged by its trade partners in the TPP-11 grouping.   © Reuters

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.

The legislation, which was passed in June and will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, 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.

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