MANILA - Online lending apps should ensure the protection of data provided by their users as mandated by law as illegal practices persist even during the pandemic, a group of fintech players said on Tuesday.
Fintech Alliance.PH echoed the call of the National Privacy Commission and other industry players condemning the illegal irresponsible data harvesting by some online lending applications.
In August, 4 lending platforms were taken down by the NPC due to excessive and illegal data mining, the Fintech Alliance.PH said in a statement.
Some online lending platforms exploit users' data by using app unnecessary permissions to access and store private information "without any justifiable reason."
Users complained that some lending apps use their data to "harass and shame" borrowers who were unable to pay for their loans.
“We call on the non-compliant online lending platforms to remember or obligation to our clients to uphold their right to safe and secure transactions, as well our obligation to follow the rule of law when it comes data storage and management," the group said in a statement.
"There is no room for these deceptive tactics when it comes to the use of our customer’s data, especially during this pandemic. We continue to advocate for legal, responsible, and reasonable data management," the group added.
Illegal data mining is a violation of the Data Privacy Act of 2012, the group said.
Instead of illegal means, there are legal ways of doing a background check and in holding a potential client accountable as well as in loan payment collection, the group said.
In 2019, at least 26 online lending apps were summoned by the NPC to explain allegations of exploitation.