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Vietnam Promotes Safe Use of Digital Platforms

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has issued a directive on promoting the development and use of safe digital platforms. The directive is also expected to contribute to creating digital trust and ensuring the safety of Vietnam’s cyberspace.

According to a news report, over the last few years, digital platforms have made important contributions to the national digital transformation and the development of the digital economy and society. However, information and data leakage on digital platforms still occurs on an increasingly large scale.

The spread of fake news, information that violates the law, especially on cross-border digital platforms, has caused a lot of negative impacts. Therefore, the ministry requires businesses that manage digital platforms to develop platforms that are able to protect themselves and have tools to process and remove information that violates the law.

In particular, owners of digital platforms must implement solutions to ensure information security and publicise measures to handle and protect personal information and collect personal information only with the consent of the users. These units are not allowed to provide, share, or distribute personal information of users, except with their consent or at the request of competent state agencies.

Vietnam recorded more than 3,900 cyberattacks in the first seven months of 2021, according to the Authority of Information Security (AIS) under MIC. In July alone, over 1,000 cyberattacks were reported, the agency said. According to statistics of the AIS’s Vietnam National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), from 26 July to 8 August, there were 106 comments about cases of fraudulence aimed at users on Vietnam’s cyberspace, including scams related to bank account confirmation, online recruitment, and money fraud.

The NCSC also warned of fraudulent cases related to COVID-19, including impersonating civil servants, selling medical products of unknown origin, stealing personal data, fake calls for charity support, and marketing deceptive products and services. Phishing attacks use old techniques but take advantage of content and information presented in new ways, especially information related to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing confusion and loss of vigilance among people.

Information security experts have continuously warned and recommended Internet and social network users in Vietnam to increase their vigilance and take safety measures to protect themselves and their relatives from online increasingly sophisticated scams. Vietnam jumped 25 places in two years to rank 25th out of 194 countries and territories worldwide in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) in 2020, according to a report released recently by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Vietnam ranked seventh in the Asia-Pacific region and fourth among ASEAN countries. The country surpassed Thailand and ranked fourth in ASEAN after Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The country is also working to become an innovation and AI hub in ASEAN and the world by 2030. The government issued a national strategy on the research, development, and application of AI till 2030. Vietnam will set up 50 interconnected open databases in economic sectors in service of the effort. To achieve this, the country is fine-tuning legal documents, creating a legal framework regarding AI, and promoting international cooperation in the field. Further attention should be paid to human resources training and building a database that is synchronous with computing infrastructure.

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