NITDA and Police Investigate Breaches of Customer Data Privacy by Online Lending Platforms

The National Information Technology Development said it was working with the Nigerian police to investigate online lending platforms, over their alleged customer data privacy breaches.

This was revealed by the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa, while addressing reporters ahead of National Privacy Week 2022.

In August, NITDA imposed a N10 million penalty on an online lending platform, Soko Lending Company Limited (Soko Loans), for breaching data privacy.

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Nairametrics findings showed that a number of these lending app operators are now sending embarrassing short message services (SMS) and WhatsApp messages to close contacts of their defaulting lenders with the intention of shaming the defaulters , labeling them with terms like “criminal”, “fraudster” and “terrible debtor” among others.

In some cases, the full names, phone numbers and photos of alleged defaulters are shared with their contacts such as religious leaders, members of churches and mosques, close friends, bosses, colleagues and members of the community. family.

In November 2021, NITDA partnered with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to combat rising rates of data privacy abuse by money lending organizations, by especially fintech companies.

What the boss of NITDA says

The NITDA boss said it was important that data protection was the organization’s primary responsibility.

He said, “We’re working with the relevant agencies to make sure we meet this challenge, because it’s not just NITDA’s mandate that governs everything. When you talk about financial services, it’s CBN. When we talk about general complaints, there is a commission for that. But NITDA plays a critical role due to breach of data privacy.

The agency said it was working with the Nigerian Police and other relevant agencies to investigate several lending platforms, commonly referred to as loan shark platforms.We have sanctioned some of them. We work with the Nigerian Police and investigate many of them. We work to meet the challenge“, Inuwa said.


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David A. Albanese