Online lenders warned against using customer data


Louella Desiderio – Star from the Philippines

September 2, 2021 | 00h00

MANILA, Philippines – The National Commission for the Protection of Privacy (NPC) has reminded online lenders that they are responsible for handling the personal data of their customers.

In a statement yesterday, Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro praised Google’s decision to remove four online lending apps – JuanHand, Pesopop, CashJeep and Lemon Loan – from its Play Store following orders of the NPC.

The apps are no longer available for download from the Google Play Store after the NPC provided copies of the orders issued to the operators of the apps to Google and the National Telecommunications Commission.

The NPC has ordered app operators to stop processing their borrowers ‘personal data after the apps have been the subject of complaints for unauthorized use of information resulting in harassment and disgrace of borrowers’ debt.

NPC said that the apps ‘handling of their borrowers’ information, such as contacts, location, photos, media files, emails and social media data, poses serious privacy concerns and exposes borrowers at risk and harm to privacy.

The four loaner apps were downloaded over 2.1 million times from the Google Play Store prior to the takedown.

With the removal of the apps, Liboro called on other online lending apps to make sure they follow the law and use reasonable methods when processing loan applicant data.

“For other online loan applications, the NPC urges you to use KYC and debt collection practices in accordance with NPC Circular 20-01, in which we have defined guidelines on the processing of personal data. for loan-related transactions, “he said.

In 2019, 26 online lending apps were also taken down by order of the NPC for failing to appear before the commission and for explaining allegations about their use of personal data to shame delinquent borrowers.

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