NPC orders withdrawal of 4 online loan applications

Louella Desiderio – Star from the Philippines

August 27, 2021 | 00h00

MANILA, Philippines – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has ordered the immediate removal of online loan applications JuanHand, Pesopop, CashJeep and Lemon Loan over complaints of unauthorized use of borrowers’ personal information.

In a statement, NPC said orders had been issued to Wefund Lending Corp., Joywin Lending Investor Inc., Cash8 Lending Corp. and Populus Lending Corp. or to the respective operators of Juan Hand, Lemon Loan, CashJeep and Pesopop, to stop processing borrowers. ‘ personal data.

Copies of the orders have also been provided to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Google LLC for the removal of apps from the Internet and Google Play Store.

The NPC issued orders based on the findings of its Complaints and Investigations Division (CID) regarding violations of the principles of transparency, legitimate purpose and proportionality of the Data Protection Act 2012 and the Circular 20-01 of the NPC on the processing of personal data. for loan operations.

“These online lending applications have raised many red flags and the companies that operate these applications are presenting problematic data actions that expose borrowers to serious privacy risks and harms,” ​​the commissioner said. to the protection of privacy Raymund Liboro.

The AFN said the apps have been the subject of various complaints for unauthorized use of personal data that have resulted in harassment and shame from borrowers.

He also said the apps have gained access to information on the borrower’s mobile device, including contacts and social media, which can be used to harass delinquent borrowers.

The companies behind the apps were given an opportunity to respond to the NPC’s findings, but two failed to file a position and the others failed to convince the commission not to proceed with the prohibition.

NPC said the ban on the four loan applications would be in effect until lifted.

The commission is also investigating the possible criminal liability of directors, officers and agents of loan application operators.

Citing Google statistics, NPC said JuanHand had been downloaded over a million times; Lemon Loan and Pesopop by more than 500,000 times each; and CashJeep over 100,000 times.

More than 200 online loan applications are being investigated by the AFN and action will be taken based on the results.

In October 2019, the AFN already banned 26 online loan applications for failing to appear before the commission and respond to allegations of using personal data to shame delinquent borrowers.

Thanks to NPC’s coordination with NTC and Google, all 26 online loan applications have been removed and can no longer be downloaded or used.

To immediately fill orders, the NPC recently opened a channel with Google’s regional office.

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David A. Albanese

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