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NITDA, FCCPC collaborate to curtail abuse of customers’ data by moneylenders

NITDA, FCCPC collaborate to curtail abuse of customers’ data by moneylenders
November 12
20:03 2021

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says it has entered into a partnership with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to curb data privacy abuse by money lending operators.

Hadiza Umar, head of corporate affairs and external relations at NITDA, made this known in a statement issued on Friday.

Umar said the agency found the FCCPC as a key stakeholder in its efforts to rein in some micro-money lenders who have formed a penchant for abuse of the personal data of Nigerians.

She said the loan companies have been exploiting their customers’ personal information, compromising their privacy, and sharing it with those who were not involved in the initial arrangement.

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“These operators execute this by abusing their data, breaching their privacy and sharing it with others who are not part of the initial contract,” the statement reads.

“The agency has received over 40 petitions from members of the public on the personal data abuse of some lending companies.

“Our investigations led to the imposition of a ten million naira (N10,000,000) fine and other administrative sanctions on Soko Lending Company.

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“As an agency focused on using its mandate to empower Nigerians and make them active players in the digital economy, NITDA is very concerned about the worrisome effect the nefarious activities of the money lending companies is having on families, friends, and the society at large.”

Umar said that some of the complainants had contemplated suicide, indicating that the government needed to do more to protect vulnerable Nigerians.

“The partnership with FCCPC will lead to a more robust and concerted regulatory approach which we believe would ensure that Nigerians get a necessary reprieve from the illegal use of their data for money lending operations. The partnership would entail joint investigations, enforcement and possible prosecution,” the statement adds.

“We, therefore, use this medium to inform all money lending operators and other data controllers and processors that NITDA is set to enforce the privacy right of Nigerians in line with the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) 2019.”

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