Online lenders warned about use of customer data

Louella Desiderio – The Filipina star

September 2, 2021 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines — The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has again reminded online lenders that they are responsible for handling their customers’ personal data.

In a statement yesterday, Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro welcomed Google’s decision to remove four online lending apps – JuanHand, Pesopop, CashJeep and Lemon Loan – from its Play Store following orders from 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, as the apps have faced complaints of unauthorized use of information leading to harassment and debt-shaming of borrowers.

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 users. borrowers at risk and harm to privacy.

The four loan apps were downloaded more than 2.1 million times on the Google Play Store before the removal.

With the removal of the apps, Liboro has appealed to other online loan apps to ensure they follow the law and use reasonable methods when handling loan applicants’ data.

“For other online loan applications, the NPC strongly urges you to use know-your-customer and debt collection practices that are aligned with NPC Circular 20-01, where we have set out guidelines for processing personal data for loan-related transactions,” he said.

In 2019, 26 online loan applications were also taken down on orders from the NPC for not appearing before the commission and explaining allegations about their use of personal data to shame delinquent borrowers.

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