The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has summoned 67 operators of online lending applications over mounting complaints of unlawful disclosure and use of customers’ private information.
The commission said the firms were unlisted operators of online lending apps and were subject of complaints from its customers, who claimed that their personal phonebook contacts were collected and used to contact third persons without their authority.
Complainants said representatives of the company also used the data collected from their contact list to damage their reputation, or to harass, threaten or coerce them to settle their loans.
In some reports, their contacts were even asked to settle the loan.
Agents or representatives of the lending apps also posted borrowers’ personal and sensitive personal information on social media sites.
The NPC ordered the board of directors behind the lending apps to appear before the commission to attend a summary hearing, submit their responsive comment and present their defense for alleged violation of the Data Private Act of 2012.
The order was specifically addressed to operators of the following online apps: Akulaku, Batis Loan, Cash Bus, Cash Flyer, Cash Loan, Cash Moto, Cash To Go, Cash Warm, Cashafin, Cashaku, Cashalo, Cashaso, Cashmoney Loan, Cashope, Cashwhale, Crazy Loan, Credit Coin, Credit Peso, Crutchpil, First Lending, Flash Cash, Happy Cash, Hello Papaya, JK Quick Cash Lending, Kwago, Lalapeso (Mintwagon Lending Corp.), Lending Cash, Light Credit, Loan Champ, Loan Motto, Loan Wallet, Mabilis Cash, Mango Cash, Mango Loan, Mcmpire, Megaloan, MF Cash (Microdot Lending Corp.), Moola Lending, One Cash, Online Loans Pilipinas, Pautang Peso, Pera Advance, Pera Express, Pera Lending, Pera Pocket (Rainbow Cash), Pera4u, Peso Legend, Peso Lending, Peso Now, Peso Online, Peso Q, Peso To Go, Peso Tree, Peso Wallet, Peso.ph, Peso2go, Pesomine, Pesos PH, Pesos.Ph, Pinoy Cash, Pinoy Peso, Pondo Pocket, QCash, Sell Loan, Super Cash, Super Peso and Utang Pesos
NPC Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro said failure to comply with the order could result to a ban on their processing of personal data and the elevation of the complaints to the commission for decision.
“Our investigation team is committed in attending to all the complaints filed against online lending apps. However, to date, only the uniform resource locator and the developers behind the 67 apps are identifiable. They have no known company name and business address, nor has anyone appeared before the commission to represent them. Our investigators are aware that some of these online lending apps are just existing in the cloud. With the defendants being unknown, summons by publication is needed in order to comply with the rules on acquiring jurisdiction and the principle of due process,” said Liboro.
Previously, three online lending companies, Fast Cash Global Lending Inc., Unipeso Lending Company Inc. and Fynamics Lending Inc., have been ordered to explain before the commission the allegations contained in NPC’s fact-finding reports.