Know your rights when using online loan applications–NPC



THE National Privacy Commission (NPC) has reminded the public of their rights when using online lending applications (OLAs), which have proliferated as an alternative access to lending in the context of the accelerated digital transition of the pandemic.

OCI Director of the NPC’s Office of Privacy Policy, Ivy Grace T. Villasoto, said in a webinar last Wednesday that the public has authority over their personal information and consumers can control how that information is handled. data will be processed.

Villasoto pointed out that OLAs can only process customer data after giving specific consent in accordance with data protection law.

It should be informed consent and the person concerned should have an indication of will, she stressed, which includes signature and verbal agreement.

If personal data is used outside agreed parameters, Villasoto said it constitutes a breach of privacy, urging the public to report such incidents.

OCI Director of NPC’s Data Security and Compliance Office, Rainer Anthony, meanwhile, stressed the need to learn about OLA before installing it on your cell phone. This is to ensure that the app is legit and follows the proper regulations.

Privacy officials also stressed the need to check the app’s permissions carefully, as accepting them all immediately can give them access to other personal information that is not needed for the loan application.

This data, including contact list, location and photos, may be illegally processed to the detriment of consumers.

red flags

ACCORDING to Privacy Commissioner John Henry D. Naga, protecting the privacy rights of data subjects is the NPC’s priority above all else.

“However, it is still the responsibility of these online lending companies to incorporate data protection policies into the conduct of their operations,” Naga said.

“In the same vein, it is also important for the NPC that potential customers of OLAs are aware of the confidentiality and sensitivity of their personal data,” added the official. “We want them to recognize red flags in choosing and using online lending applications.”

In a statement last year, the APN and financial institutions called on operators of online lending apps to refrain from harassing their borrowers through the unauthorized use of their personal data.

Some information is collected “without a legitimate purpose”, they said, citing customers’ contact list and photo gallery, both of which are useless in determining creditworthiness.

“We also reiterate our call on non-compliant operators of online lending applications to refrain from exploiting borrowers by using borrowers’ personal data to humiliate them and coerce them into paying their loans through improper use. authorized and unfair of their personal data,” they said.

The privacy watchdog banned four online lending apps last year amid complaints of unauthorized use of personal data. In 2019, it also banned 26 loan applications for the same reason.




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David A. Albanese