+44 (0) 121 582 0192 [email protected]


In an era of data-driven decision-making, understanding the nuances of various data protection laws is crucial for businesses operating globally. The introduction of Vietnam’s Personal Data Protection Decree (PDPD) has added a new dimension to this complex landscape, drawing comparisons to the well-established EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This article offers an insightful comparison between The Vietnam PDPD Vs. EU GDPR aims to assist businesses in navigating their compliance journey.


1. Scope and Applicability

The GDPR, a benchmark in data privacy laws, has a broad scope, applying to all entities processing the personal data of EU residents, regardless of the entity’s location. In contrast, Vietnam’s PDPD, while also having extraterritorial reach, specifically targets entities processing the personal data of Vietnamese citizens or residents or those with a presence in Vietnam. This nuanced difference in scope means businesses must tailor their compliance strategies based on the geographic locations of their data subjects.


2. Data Subject Rights

Both the GDPR and PDPD empower individuals with rights over their personal data. The GDPR’s rights include access, rectification, erasure, and portability. The PDPD echoes these rights, albeit with some variations in implementation and scope. For instance, the PDPD emphasises consent mechanisms, requiring explicit consent for specific data processing activities, especially for sensitive personal data.


3. Data Protection Officer (DPO) Requirements

The GDPR mandates the appointment of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) for specific organisations based on their core data processing activities. Vietnam’s PDPD also recognises the role of a DPO, but its requirements for appointment and responsibilities are less stringent compared to the GDPR. This difference highlights the varying emphasis on organisational accountability in data processing between the two regulations.


4. Cross-Border Data Transfers

Managing cross-border data transfers is one of the most challenging aspects of data protection laws. The GDPR sets strict conditions for such transfers, including adequacy decisions, standard contractual clauses, and binding corporate rules. Vietnam’s PDPD introduces similar mechanisms but with additional local nuances, such as specific requirements for government approval in some instances. Businesses must carefully navigate these requirements to ensure seamless and compliant data flows.


5. Penalties and Enforcement

The GDPR is known for its hefty fines, with penalties reaching up to 4% of the annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is higher. The PDPD, while imposing significant penalties for non-compliance, has a different fine structure, which may be perceived as less severe than the GDPR. However, the reputational damage and operational disruptions from non-compliance can be substantial under both regimes.


6. Formiti’s Vietnam PDPD Service

Recognising the complexities of complying with these diverse regulations, Formiti Data International Ltd offers specialised services to assist businesses in navigating Vietnam’s PDPD. Our Vietnam PDPD Service provides tailored solutions, ensuring that your organisation complies with the PDPD and aligns with global data protection standards like the GDPR. Our expertise in this area is crucial for businesses looking to operate seamlessly across different regulatory environments.


7. Conclusion

The comparison between Vietnam’s PDPD and the EU’s GDPR underscores the importance of a nuanced approach to data protection compliance. While there are similarities between the two, understanding their differences is critical to developing an effective data privacy strategy. As global data privacy landscapes evolve, staying informed and adapting to these changes is vital for businesses seeking to maintain a competitive edge and uphold their reputation in the digital world.