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NITDA imposes N10 million fine on Soko Loan for data privacy invasion

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NATIONAL Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has imposed a sanction of N10 million on an online lending platform, Soko Lending Company Limited (Soko Loans), for data privacy invasion.

This was disclosed in a statement by NITDA made available to The ICIR on Tuesday that the sanction followed several complaints filed by some customers of Soko loans.


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According to NITDA, it received a series of complaints against the company for ‘unauthorized disclosures, failure to protect customers’ personal data and defamation of character.

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NITDA said its investigations showed that 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 which grants the application 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,” the statement read in part.

NITDA also said that it found that Soko loans also embeds trackers that share data with third parties inside its mobile application without providing users information about it or using the appropriate lawful basis.

After its investigation, NITDA stated that it found Soko loans guilty of using non-conforming privacy notice, insufficient lawful basis for processing personal data, illegal data sharing without appropriate lawful basis, contrary to Nigeria Data Protection Regulation.

NITDA also said Soko loans was guilty of unwillingness to cooperate with the Data Protection Authority, contrary to Article 3.1 (1) of Data Protection Implementation Framework; and non-filing of NDPR Audit reports through a licensed Data Protection Compliance Organisation (DPCO), contrary to Article 4.1(7) of the NDPR.

Aside N10 million sanction, NITDA ordered that no further privacy-invading messages be sent to any Nigerian until the company and its entities show full compliance with the NDPR and directed Soko loan to pay for the conduct of a Data Protection Impact Assessment by a NITDA appointed DPCO on its operation.

The agency also placed a  mandatory Information Technology and Data Protection oversight for 9 months on Soko loans.

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NITDA said the criminal aspects of the investigation had been deposited with the Nigeria Police Force to determine if the executives of the company are liable to imprisonment for violating Section 17 of the NITDA Act, 2007.

“NITDA, therefore, uses this medium to remind all Nigerian businesses and data controllers of their obligation to engage NITDA-licensed Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO) to guide them towards compliance with the data protection law,” the statement read in part.

 

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55 COMMENTS

  1. CBN should ban all these loan apps. Infact they ve caused more harm than good. The worst is that they all all owned by Chinese who infiltrated Nigeria. They threaten people at will causing damages, defamation and derogatory. One that calls himself barrister Kevin threatened me that i will spend my old age in jail. This people are very wicked, it s just that government is not helping matters at all. Just ban all of them. Go to google play store u see their apps everywhere, they will give one naira and collect ten naira as interest. God will punish them.

  2. Pls can NITDA, CBN and CAC ban all these loan apps. They have killed many people, caused depression and suicide.

  3. Imoney rep told me i will die on my sick bed, my family will cry over me, for being 2days due for defaulting the first time and its not the first time i am taking that amount. I was scammed of huge amount of money while buying goods on preorder, i fell seriously sick for months, i needed to pay the customers their money, i borrowed from Imoney and okash, imoney sent messages to my contacts on 2days due, okash has been giving me threats that is enough for me to take my life right now despite the daily charges of 1500… Still sick and has not been doing my business, i asked to pay in bits they refusee.

  4. I money and N cash is number one in this act of indiscipline. Infact on the date in due for payment. From the morning on that that day. My name has been tag as a thief and and a fraudster . It was sent to my female collegue that I used her number as a guarantor. Coz i never use her number for anythin coz of this issue. Up till now I am still trying to fix my home. They lady in question still threatened to send message to all my contact and nothing will happen. Infact she has been a bully . What suprise me is that they are threatening to post my picture as a thief .Same with N cash. This one with start calling you names a day to ur due date and and threatening u. On 7 days loan with 100% of the money Yu borrowed as interest. This is what they turn Nigeria to.

  5. I think we are all joking here i give you few more years you will begin to hear story like some people nailing them one by one because that is what they deserve i swear if goverment dont act now to regulate the internet affairs. Sokoloan has killed many people than you can imagine. Who does that?

  6. But they are still hunting defaulters like murderers, that means the fine is not affecting them . How can they be stopped.

  7. Please am also tired of them send messages to my family and friends, please it not ask if we won’t pay them back but thing are hard that why we haven’t paid back, please help us ooo.sokolone,9credit etc please

  8. Manager, you said if you don’t borrow they won’t disturb.
    However I didn’t borrow, but they disturb me weekly with calls and texts for someone else who borrowed and they talk rudely as if I was present when they did the deal

  9. Please you people should help us fraudulent messages has been sent to my contacts countless number of times my BP rised, I was depressed and frustrated, SUPER LOAN should not be speard their own is that after collecting all your data, they will start debiting you without sending you any money

  10. 9credit,lcredit are the worst. One called me from 9credit and told me he will make my life a living hell if I don’t pay. The have disgraced me enough. Sending messages to all my contacts and increasing the loan and they also expect someone to pay a huge sum of money within 7 days. Please all of them should be fine and punished

  11. I’m dying slowly, my blood pressure is high because Lcredit are calling my contacts and also sending them messages that am a theft and liar. Now my dad is seriously ill because of the the call he received from them that the police are looking for me.😭😭😭😭😭 I’m having sleepless nights because of calls from my friends and family.

  12. I’m dying slowly, my blood pressure is high because of Lcredit. They sent messages to all my contacts that am a theft and that the police are looking for me.
    Now, my dad is heartbroken when he saw the message. I feel like dying because, my friends are calling me. 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

  13. Now cash did the same to me they send message to my family member that I use them as refree,in which I didn’t use there name. They said they are going to use police to arrest me.

  14. LAST WARNING … WE HAVE BEEN PATIENT ENOUGH WITH YOU . IF WE DO NOT RECEIVE YOUR LOAN REPAYMENT TODAY BY 4PM , WE WILL BE LEFT WITH NO CHOICE THAN TO CONTACT EVERYONE ON YOUR ADDRESS BOOK , BLOCK YOUR BVN AND ALSO TAKE FUTHER STEPS TOWARDS RECOVERING YOUR LOAN WHICH YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE . GETCASH/SOKOLOAN. This is just yesterday.

  15. Good day, sokoloan sent messages to my contacts with my pictures saying am a chronic criminal I ran away with there money, even to my boss, now am sacked at work please government should do something on this.

  16. Good day. 9ja cash really finished me. They tagged my picture, date of birth, home address ,even my bvn and sent it to all my contacts calling me a fraudster on the run, for a loan I’ve paid a cumbersome amount from, just left with the rising interest.
    A representative from 9ja cash even sent me a voice note saying she will make sure I drink sniper. And she’s still calling all my contacts.

  17. Good day, I am a victim of L credit. I obtained a loan but I defaulted. They downloaded my WhatsApp picture, tagged it a serial loan defaulter and Jeep sending it to all my contacts with blackmailing messages. Despite have been obtaining it and paying on tume before.

  18. Too bad an experience, they keep sending texts, keep calling, they don’t even want to hear anything. I remember one agent called and asked me to do part payment, I paid 10k out of 35k, the next day, he called and said I must balance it right away or I will be arrested. I said they better arrest me o.. I don’t have extra to pay. In as much as they are wrong and must be corrected, let’s try not to borrow, I’ve learnt my lesson and will endeavour never to borrow from these companies. They will push you to commit suicide.

  19. Lcredit, have been calling my contacts and my sick mum dat I took a loan and refused to pay, meanwhile I’ve paid dis loan with high interest, but they’re forcing me to pay 36k for collecting 11k, I just feel like committing a sucide bcos d shaming is too much, true naira loaners are also threatening and sending charts to my contacts that am a chronic debtor and a fraud dat am on a run with their money dat I will soon be arrested dat people should stay away from me,they gave me a loan and few days my bank acct got hacked all my money was stolen, now I don’t have access to my account my bank is trying to sort out d problem, while dis people kept calling contacts and threatening and blackmailing me everyday, may be if I commit suicide they will let me rest, I regretted ever knowing dis apps😭😭

  20. Cycle cash is on my case right now, they have been sending defamatory messages along with my pictures to my contacts
    I lost my phone few weeks ago, they did not know what happened to me and why I was unreachable… I will not pay the money because almost everyone now knows what is going on.. had it been I’m capable of sueing them i will gladly do so…

  21. 09132571577 from Soko loan defamed me and released my phone number, pictures and that of my brothers to the general public.. They hacked my contacts and sent defamatory WhatsApp texts to them From Okeke Chioma..

  22. Pls,who has their direct contact. I was loaned money and I have paid since February after several messages to my contacts,now this money 20000 was directly withdrawn from my account and it’s for my school fees.
    Any help please

  23. I never knew what they are doing was illegal oo. I have many messages that proves and shows that they did threatened me many times. I need to find me a good lawyer oo. This is not fair. My BP dey go up when I see their calls all the time. I am afraid to turn on my phone location for them not to track me oo. But I will pay their loans and probably use their messages against them.

  24. I never knew what they are doing was illegal oo. I have many messages that proves and shows that they did threatened me many times. I need to find me a good lawyer oo. This is not fair. My BP dey go up when I see their calls all the time. I am afraid to turn on my phone location for them not to track me oo. But I will their loans and probably use their messages against them.

  25. It serves them right jarey, these loan apps are a menaces , but at the same time an agreement is an agreement, to avoid all these ,don’t borrow money in the first place…if you look at it,in truth..they are right to ask for Thier money,they are jus overdoing it..but if they don’t take drastic measures,people won’t pay..we are Nigerians ,we know ourselves.. so best thing by is NOT TO BORROW,when u don’t borrow, no one will disturb you… It’s basic

  26. DIDI CASH Loan agent, 08095576365.
    Sent threatening messages and my picture to all my contacts saying that I’m a criminal that they will post me on all social media and that they will deal with me so badly that I’m a criminal. Because I couldn’t meet up to repay before the due date. 10k to pay 16k. And the loan default is just 2 days and not even up to a month or so. my aunt got the threatening they sent to her phone and simply replied
    and asked how much and how long, and this agent was so rude to her.

  27. FAST MONEY Loan agent 09133176848. Sent messages to all my contacts saying that he will tarnish my image, that I’m a fraudster and a criminal, that they will post me on all social media and news that I’m a criminal. Because I couldn’t meet up to repay before the due date. And still sending threatening messages to me and calling me names. Meanwhile I have been repaying before any due date coupled with their massive interest to repay on a small loan.

  28. FAST MONEY Loan agent 09133176848. Sent messages to all my contacts saying that I’m a fraudster and a criminal, that they will post me on all social media and news that I’m a criminal. Because I couldn’t meet up to repay before the due date. And still sending threatening messages to me and calling me names. Meanwhile I have been repaying before any due date coupled with their massive interest to repay on a small loan.

  29. Especially Lcredit app, they will call and text all your contact, you will feel like committing suicide, they can add interest or 3000 to 7000 loan and you nuat pay back in 7days. Government need to stop them

  30. +2349093034126 .This number just text me.
    PAY YOUR MONEY NOW TO AVOID DISGRACE AND MESSAGING YOUR CONTACT NEGLIGENCE WILL NOT BE YOUR ACTIONS. FROM 9JA CASH

  31. PAY YOUR MONEY NOW TO AVOID DISGRACE AND MESSAGING YOUR CONTACT NEGLIGENCE WILL NOT BE YOUR ACTIONS. FROM 9JA CASH.This people are still harrassing people.

  32. WARNING!!! SAVE YOUR SELF AND REPUTAION FROM SHAME, DISGRACE AND EMBARRASSMENT!!! YOU HAVE TILL 2PM TODAY to make your loan repayment to 9credit. Failure to do so will result in very AGGRESSIVE loan recollection methods (if we have to get you ARRESTED before you make your loan repayment, we will do so,) and EMBARRASMENT to your person. As proof we aren’t joking around, messages will be sent to 30 of your CONTACTS 2PM PROMPT , if you haven’t FULLY PAID, 100 of your contacts will be messaged BY 3PM AND DAILY PAY INTO THE PAYSTACK WEMA BANK ACCOUNT IN THE APP AND SEND YOUR PROOF VIA WHATSAPP TO 08133361808. DO NOT USE THE STERLING ACCOUNT AS THEY ARE CURRENTLY EXPERINCING A DOWNTIME (9CREDIT!!)

  33. Please be informed that monica mosunmola shogbola
    With phone No 8033583610

    As an unresolved financial business with a LOAN COMPANY SOKOLOAN. He gave your name as an emergency contact should he default in the repayment of the loan given to him. We need you to reach him and compel him to pay up his loan AS HE IS NOW AVOIDING OUR CALLS as the company is taking other unfriendly measures including reporting his debt to the NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE and the CREDDIT BUREAU OF NIGERIA as this is a FRAUDULENT ACT. they even sent my picture with it.This is the number that send me message me wassap
    +234 701 318 5634. THEY ARE STILL HARRASSING PEOPLE

  34. WARNING!!! SAVE YOUR SELF AND REPUTAION FROM SHAME, DISGRACE AND EMBARRASSMENT!!! YOU HAVE TILL 2PM TODAY to make your loan repayment to 9credit. Failure to do so will result in very AGGRESSIVE loan recollection methods (if we have to get you ARRESTED before you make your loan repayment, we will do so,) and EMBARRASMENT to your person. As proof we aren’t joking around, messages will be sent to 30 of your CONTACTS 2PM PROMPT , if you haven’t FULLY PAID, 100 of your contacts will be messaged BY 3PM AND DAILY PAY INTO THE PAYSTACK WEMA BANK ACCOUNT IN THE APP AND SEND YOUR PROOF VIA WHATSAPP TO 08133361808. DO NOT USE THE STERLING ACCOUNT AS THEY ARE CURRENTLY EXPERINCING A DOWNTIME (9CREDIT!!)

  35. This solo loan app are wicked they sent defamatory messages to my contacts including my mum that all my family members are fraudster that we defraud people on a daily basis and run away that people should stay away from us😭😭😭😭😭

  36. My daughter was in the hospital despite showing them all prove this people did wat they know best to do. I lost a job opportunity because of them. I was defamed beyond repair and ontop of it I paid huge interest till today i could not face my prominent family members. Skoloan 9ja cash ,cashlion , etc. i became so sick cos time embarrasmet was too much to bear.i was already thinking of committing suicide even till now.My only hope if this agency is brought to face the law the agony a d trauma they put me tru is too much.

  37. A guy committed suicide in Ibadan due to the embarrassment he got from this online loan company, they keep calling & texting his family and friends, tagging him as a fraudster. now that the guy is no more,I hope 1 of ur staff will follow him to the 6 feet and collect your loan back

  38. They still haven’t stopped their act, an agent from
    Sokoloan called my mum today telling her that her daughter is a criminal and sort after theory defamed me to my contacts last week, and my mum
    Is hypertensive,I have promised myself that for this act of theirs today, I won’t pay back a dime

    The government should please take their matter very seriously, they are beginning to over step their bounds

  39. I guess the fine isn’t too heavy on them, because they’re still contravening the laws, I got a message from Sokoloan few minutes ago threatening a friend who owes them.

    Why place a mere 10million fine, when they can be fined about 500million and revoke their license to operate in our country.

  40. Serves them right,but they will not still learn until drastic measures is been taking on them,there are so many others that needs to be checked too

  41. Good morning sir, please sir NITDA and federal government need to involved in this issue ooo. At yesterday which was 23-08-2021. Sokoloan gave me a loan and half of the money was been debited from the bank. Sokoloan enter my pravate data and begin to send them message and also call them. I am begging the federal government to look into this online loan company.

  42. These online loan platforms needs to be checked and scrapped. 9credit, Ncash, nextcredit, Lcredit, cashlion , Lcash, Nairaplus. They are extorting us too much and keeps threatening friends and family on a small loan that was taken from their various platforms. Thank you

  43. I think NITDA need to look into other platform too, like credit, okash, easy credit and meany others. They also need to look into the increments in load (over due charges) and interest rate and the load period.
    The interest is crazy 30% on 7 days to 14 days load. The embarrassment is just too much, the country is hard but they are making it harder.

  44. Ncash did the same thing to because only 3000 Naira. They embarrassed terribly, sents message to friends that I am a criminal I callected a loan and refused to the extent one of the people threaten to take me to police that I use his name to collect a loan

  45. Lcredit is worse, they called my colleagues and my manager telling them I use them as guarantor to take loan from them.. They sent messages to about 50 of my contacts telling them am now miserable and my family and friends should help me pay the loan am owing. They stagged it like I sent those messages myself with another number and still put my full name. Lcredit workers can’t make heaven

  46. Am a victim. They so embarrass
    e and my entire family. Giving out my personal data to everyone and even posted
    it online.

  47. Yes they did same to me ,My names was defamated and they made me loose my job and still wants me to pay mammoth amount of morning.

  48. Fantastic, Solo loan 9ja cash are victims of such act of sending messages to your phone contact finishing ones image.it has happened to me by 9ja cash which also a subsidiary of soko loan.My contact started calling me that they sent to them that am a bad person,everyone should desist from making any transaction with me

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