NDPC plans to ban lenders’ mobile numbers over privacy violations

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March 28, 2024
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2 min read
data
  • The Nigerian Data Protection Commission (NDPC) plans to ban or restrict mobile numbers that lenders have used to violate their customers' privacy.
  • This move comes six months after Nigeria's Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) delisted some loan apps from the Google Play Store to protect customers from fraud. 

However, this new information shows that the problems caused by digital lenders still exist. In its annual report for 2023, NDPC stated that the results of ongoing investigations have demonstrated that "loan apps are overly intrusive."

While the commission acknowledged that digital lenders "generally violate the principles of Data Protection and Privacy because they have access to data subjects' contacts, pictures, messages, etc.," it also revealed that their actions are a systemic issue. 

Meanwhile, it confirmed that it will implement a systemic solution in collaboration with other regulators and third-party platforms used by lenders.

To address this issue further, the NDPC drafted the Nigeria Data Protection Act-General Application and Implementation Directive, which focuses on data breaches, the importance of data ethics, and privacy by design and default, among other things. 

It’s also collaborating with regulators through the Joint Enforcement and Regulatory Taskforce to clean up the digital lending space.

“Under abetment, the third-party platforms through which data privacy breaches take place will now be required to deny access to those who use their platforms for privacy breaches.

“Organisations, particularly communication networks, should be willing to restrict or ban telephone lines that are implicated in privacy violations,” the commission elaborated. 

Lending companies must now obtain data protection clearance from the NDPC before operating. 

Recall that on November 16, 2022, Google Play announced updates to its Developer Program Policy. Per the updates, digital money lenders in Nigeria must conform to rules established by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC). 

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Also, they are required to provide Google Play with other information that proves their compliance with the appropriate regulatory authorities in the country.


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