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NDPC: We’re investigating over 400 cases of privacy breaches by loan sharks

NDPC: We’re investigating over 400 cases of privacy breaches by loan sharks
March 28
20:20 2024

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) says it is investigating over 400 cases of privacy breaches involving shadowy loan sharks in Nigeria.

The commission disclosed this in its recent report titled “Nigeria Data Protection Annual Report 2023”.

Loan sharks, otherwise known as “digital lenders” offer loans at extremely high rate returns and strict terms of collection.

According to NDPC, they are working with regulators to sanitise the digital lending space.

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“Under Joint Enforcement and Regulatory Taskforce, we are collaborating with regulators to sanitize the digital lending space,” NDPC said.

“For instance, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) requires lending companies to obtain data protection clearance from NDPC before operation.

“The NDPC insists on full compliance with the NDPA in this regard as each online lending company must carry out a comprehensive Data Privacy Impact Assessment.

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“Over 400 cases of privacy breaches involving shadowy loan sharks are being addressed at the systemic level.

“Third party platforms being used for abuses are cooperating with regulators in implementing deterrent measures.

“As at the 4th Quarter of 2023, 203 loan Apps were approved under the JERTF, 38 received conditional approval, 85 companies and Apps are under watch, and 47 were delisted.”

The commission also hinted that regulators and security establishments are mainstreaming data protection into their policies even at the design level.

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On March 12, 2022, FCCPC, in collaboration with enforcement agencies, raided the offices of “illegal” digital loan companies operating in Ikeja, Lagos, over alleged consumer rights abuse.

Speaking at the event, Babatunde Irukera, former executive vice-chairman of the commission, said due to FCCPC’s findings during the raids, the activities of loan apps would now fall under regulatory control.

“We discovered that this is much more serious than we thought,” he said.

Irukera said there is a need to bring the loan apps into the regulatory framework.

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