National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has sanctioned an online lending platform, Soko Lending Company Limited (Soko Loans) for privacy invasion.
NITDA, in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday said the action was taken after receiving series of complaints against the company for unauthorized disclosures, failure to protect customers’ personal data and defamation of character as well as not carrying out the necessary due diligence as enshrined in the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).
One of such complaints filed by Bloomgate Solicitors on behalf of its client, the data subject, was received on Monday, 11th November 2019.
“NITDA, as part of its due diligence process, commenced investigation over the alleged infractions of the provisions of the NDPR.
Soko Loans grants its customers uncollateralised loans and requires a loanee to download its mobile application on their phone and activate a direct debit in the company’s favour. The app gains access to the loanee’s phone contacts.
According to one of the complainants, when he failed to meet up with his repayment obligations due to insufficient credit in his account on the date the direct debit was to take effect, the company unilaterally sent privacy invading messages to the complainant’s contacts.
Investigation revealed that complainants’ contacts who were neither parties to the loan transaction nor consented to the processing of their data have confirmed the receipt of such messages.
The Agency made strident efforts to get Soko Loan to change the unethical practice but to no avail.