Question:

Is it illegal to sell information about others?

Reply:

Operator’s staff selling the subscriber’s personal information to another person will be criminally responsible for “Illegally giving or using information on computer networks, telecommunications networks, Internet networks” as prescribed in Article 266 Criminal Code.

Under the provisions of Article 39 of the Civil Code: The right to privacy of individuals is respected and protected by law. The collection and disclosure of information and documents about an individual’s private life must obtain the consent of that person … except for the case of collecting and publishing information and materials under a decision of a competent agency or organization. Personal correspondence, telephone, telegram and other forms of electronic information are ensured safe and confidential.

Article 15 of Decree No. 25/2011 / ND-CP dated April 6, 2011 of the Government detailing and guiding the implementation of the Law on Telecommunications also stipulates that: Subscriber information is only used for the following purposes: here:

– Serving the work of ensuring national security, social order and safety;

– Serving the state management of telecommunications;

– Serving professional management, network exploitation and provision of telecommunications services by telecommunications businesses;

– Other purposes as stipulated by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

According to the above provisions, the subscriber’s personal information is not information that can be disclosed or sold as a commodity; It is against the law to sell personal information of subscribers. The act of selling personal information of subscriber owners, depending on each level, can be administratively sanctioned or examined for penal liability.

Under the provisions of Clause 2, Article 39 of Decree No. 83/2011 / ND-CP dated September 20, 2011 of the Government stipulating the sanctioning of administrative violations in the telecommunications sector, whoever has the act of buying, selling or giving Illegally changing private information of users of telecommunications services will be fined from 30 to 50 million VND. Violators are also forced to withdraw profits due to the violation.

Clause 1, Article 226 of the 1999 Penal Code (amended and supplemented in 2009) provides for the crime of “Illegally giving or using information on computer networks, telecommunications networks, Internet networks” as follows:

“first. Persons who commit one of the following acts: infringing upon interests of agencies, organizations or individuals; Violating the social order and safety and causing serious consequences, shall be subject to a fine of between VND 10 million and 100 million, non-custodial reform for up to 3 years or a prison term of between 6 months and 3 years:

b) Buying, selling, exchanging, donating, repairing, changing or publicizing legal private information of other agencies, organizations or individuals on computer networks, telecommunications networks or Internet without permission. permission of the owner of that information… ”.

The law also has an aggravated penalty framework with a prison term of between 2 and 7 years if the offense falls into one of the following cases: organized; abusing the right to administer computer networks, telecommunications networks, Internet networks; gaining illegal profits from one hundred million dong or more; causing very serious or particularly serious consequences. In addition, offenders may also be subject to a fine of between 20 and 200 million dong, a ban from holding certain posts, practicing certain occupations or doing certain jobs for 1 to 5 years.

If the disclosure of the subscriber’s personal information is due to the operator, the employee who illegally discloses the private information content of the telecommunications service user will be fined from 10 to 20 million VND. according to the provisions of Clause 1, Article 39 of Decree No. 83/2011 / ND-CP.

In case an employee of the network operator sells the subscriber’s personal information to another person, he / she shall bear criminal responsibility for “Illegally giving or using information on computer networks, telecommunications networks or Internet” according to regulations. in Article 266 of the Criminal Code. With the circumstance “Abusing the right to administer the computer network, telecommunications network, Internet network”, offenders can be sentenced to between 2 and 7 years in prison, a fine of 20 to 200 million VND, banned from taking office. and banned from practicing or doing certain jobs for 1 to 5 years.

Master, lawyer Pham Thanh Binh

Hong Ha Law Firm