Online Loan Sharks: NDPC Probes Over 400 Cases Of Privacy Breaches

The Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC) announced that it is investigating more than 400 instances of privacy violations linked to digital loan firms, commonly referred to as loan sharks, in Nigeria.

This information was revealed in the Nigeria Data Protection Annual Report 2023, Truetells Nigeria reports.

NDPC stated that they are collaborating with regulatory bodies to clean up the digital lending sector.

“Under Joint Enforcement and Regulatory Taskforce (JERTF), we are collaborating with regulators to sanitize the digital lending space.

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

“NDPC insists on full compliance with the Nigeria Data Protection Act (NDPA) in this regard as each online lending company must carry out a comprehensive Data Privacy Impact Assessment.”

The report revealed that “over 400 cases of privacy breaches involving shadowy loan sharks are being addressed at the systemic level.”

Truetells Nigeria understands that 203 loan applications were approved under the JERTF in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Additionally, 38 applications received conditional approval, while 85 companies and apps are currently under watch. Furthermore, 47 loan apps were delisted during this period.

The commission has also indicated that regulators and security establishments are incorporating data protection measures into their policies, starting from the design phase.

It is worth mentioning that in March 2022, the FCCPC, in collaboration with enforcement agencies, raided the offices of “illegal” digital loan companies operating in Ikeja, Lagos.

This action was taken due to alleged consumer rights abuses.

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The former executive vice-chairman of the commission, Babatunde Irukera, personally led the enforcement operation and emphasized the importance of bringing these loan apps under the regulatory framework.

“We discovered that this is much more serious than we thought,” Irukera stated.

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