The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has prohibited online lending entities from collecting the phone and social media contact list of their borrowers in the light of increasing reports of the online lenders resorting to harassment and shaming of its clients.
The NPC recently issued Circular No. 20-01 stipulating that existing lending and financing firms must “dispose” borrowers’ contact lists “in a secure manner that would prevent further unauthorized processing, access, or disclosure to any other party or the public.”
“Once again we remind online lending operators and businesses to take their customers’ data privacy seriously and deploy adequate security measures,” Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro said in a statement.
“For the public, we hope this circular will help them keep an eye out for red flags while they are in the process of borrowing money from online lenders,” Liboro added.
Circular No. 20-01 branded unnecessary permissions as “accessing phone contact or e-mail list, harvesting social media contacts, copying or otherwise saving these for use in debt collection, or to harass the borrower or his/her contacts.”
In November last year, the NPC banned the processing of personal data against operators of 26 online lending applications.
Since that time, the complaints against online lenders dropped but as the coronavirus disease caused lockdowns, borrowing money online became popular anew that may have lead to abusive behavior by the said entities. (sovereignph.com)