I and my friend is the students. Recently, my friend got a part-time online job which is collecting people's personal information as much as possible. He will earn VND 10,000 for each person’s package of information. So my friend created a form on google drive and pretend a study survey for collecting information. Because it is easy to make money in this way, my friends ask me to do it with him. I want to know if it's illegal to sell other people's information. Thank you.
Thank you for concerning FDVN’s legal services. Regarding your consulting requests, after studying the relevant legal documents, FDVN Law Firm would like to give you the following advice:
According to Article 38 of the Civil Code 2015:
“Article 38. Right to private life, personal secrets and family secrets
1. The private life, personal secrets and family secrets of a person are inviolable and protected by law.
2. The collection, preservation, use and publication of information about the private life of an individual must have the consent of that person; the collection, preservation, use and publication of information about the secrets of the family must have the consent of all family’s members unless otherwise prescribed by law.”
Therefore, individuals who want to collect personal information from others must obtain that person's consent, unless otherwise provided by law.
According to Article 7 of the Law on Cyber Information Security 2015, the following acts are prohibited:
“Article 7. Prohibited acts
1. Blocking the transmission of information in cyberspace, or illegally intervening, accessing, harming, deleting, altering, copying or falsifying information in cyberspace.
2. Illegally affecting or obstructing the normal operation of information systems or the users’ accessibility to information systems.
3. Illegally attacking, or nullifying cyber information security protection measures of, information systems; attacking, seizing the right to control, or sabotaging, information systems.
4. Spreading spams or malware or establishing fake and deceitful information systems.
5. Illegally collecting, utilizing, spreading or trading in personal information of others; abusing weaknesses of information systems to collect or exploit personal information.
6. Hacking cryptographic secrets and lawfully enciphered information of agencies, organizations or individuals; disclosing information on civil cryptographic products or information on clients that lawfully use civil cryptographic products; using or trading in civil cryptographic products of unclear origin.
The act of collecting other people's personal information is prohibited by law. It is unlawful if your friend collects personal information for sale.
With the above behaviour, depending on nature and level, your friend may be sanctioned as follows:
Regarding the handling of administrative violations, according to Clause 3 and Clause 5, Article 66 of Decree No. 174/2013 / ND-CP stipulating penalties for administrative violations against regulations on post and telecommunications, information technology and radiofrequency.
“Article 66. violations against regulations on information retention, leasing, transmission, provision, access, collection, processing, exchange and utilization
3. A fine ranging from VND 10,000,000 to VND 20,000,000 shall be imposed for any of the following violations
e) Collecting, processing and using the information from other entities or individuals without obtaining their consent or for illegal purposes;
5. A fine ranging from VND 50,000,000 to VND 70,000,000 shall be imposed for any of the following violations:
a) Illegally trading or exchanging private information of users of telecommunications services;
b) Forging email names or addresses of other entities or individuals when sending emails/ messages.
6. A fine ranging from VND 70,000,000 to VND 100,000,000 shall be imposed for providing, exchanging, transmitting or storing and using digital information to disseminate wrong facts about the sovereignty of Vietnam.
Therefore, the act of collecting, processing, and using personal information without the consent of that person or for illegal purposes may be subject to an administrative fine of VND 10,000,000 to VND 20,000,000. For the act of trading personal information, the fine range will be from VND 50,000,000 to VND 70,000,000 for the illegal purchase, sale, or exchange of private information by users of telecommunications services.
Regarding the criminal prosecution, according to Article 288 of the Criminal Code 2015, the crime of illegally giving or using information on computer networks and telecommunications networks is as follows:
“Article 288. Illegal provision or use of information on computer networks or telecommunications networks
1. A person who commits any of the following acts and earns an illegal profit of from VND 50,000,000 to under VND 200,000,000 or causes property damage assessed at from VND 100,000,000 to under VND 500,000,000 or damages reputation of an organization or individual shall be liable to a fine of from VND 30,000,000 to VND 200,000,000 or face a penalty of up to 03 years' community sentence or 03 - 36 months' imprisonment:
a) Uploading information on a computer or telecommunications network against regulations of law, except in the circumstances specified in Article 117, 155, 156 and 326 hereof;
b) Trading, exchanging, giving, changing or publishing lawfully private information of an organization or individual on the computer or telecommunications network without the consent of the information owner;
c) Other acts that involve illegal use of information on the computer or telecommunications network.
2. This offence committed in any of the following circumstances carries a fine of from VND 200,000,000 to VND 1,000,000,000 or a penalty of 02 - 07 years' imprisonment:
a) The offence is committed by an organized group;
b) The offender misuses his/her position as the administrator of the computer or telecommunications network;
c) The illegal profit earned is ≥ VND 200,000,000;
d) The property damage caused by the offence is assessed at ≥ VND 500,000,000;
dd) The offence involves infringement of privacy which results in the suicide of the victim;
e) The offence has a negative impact on social security, order or safety or Vietnam's diplomatic relationship;
g) The offence results in a demonstration.
3. The offender might also be liable to a fine of from VND 20,000,000 to VND 200,000,000 or prohibited from holding certain positions or doing certain jobs for 01 - 05 years.
Above is FDVN Law Firm's opinion for your consulting requests based on studying the relevant legal provisions. Hopefully, FDVN's advice would be helpful to you.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Thanh Tra - FDVN Law Firm
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