The Law on Children No. 102/2016/QH13 ("LOC") was adopted on 5 April 2016 and will become effective from 1 July 2017. The LOC includes general principles on the protection of children's privacy.
On 9 May 2017, the Government issued Decree No. 56/2017/ND-CP detailing certain provisions of the LOC ("Decree No. 56" or the "Decree"). This Decree contains provisions on specific measures and requirements to protect children within cyberspace. It will replace Decree 71/2011/ND-CP and become effective from 1 July 2017.
1. Broad scope of protected information
The Decree lists out information considered as "private information of the children". In addition to the private information presently provided under Vietnamese privacy laws (e.g. identity, health records, personal contact), a child's private information will also include, among other things, the academic results, friendships and information about other services provided to the child.1
2. Required consent
From 1 July 2017, before the disclosure of any private information of a child in cyberspace, enterprises must obtain prior consent of his/her parents, caretaker(s) and his/herself if the child is from 7 years old to under 16 years old. The persons who have the right to consent may require enterprises to remove private information to ensure the child's safety and best interests.
3. Online Service Providers' Responsibilities
Under Decree No. 56, online service providers must, inter alia, make available:
- Guidance on children online protection for service users;3
- Measures to protect child users.4 In particular, online game providers must provide time-management mechanisms to prevent children from overuse/addiction to online games; 5
- Warnings, removal of information/services that are harmful to children. 6
Online service providers are also required to collaborate with State agencies to assess and classify the level of information safety for children; announce such classification; [and /or] detect and remove images, documents, and information that are inappropriate for children. 7