FG Probe Online Banks Over Breach Of Customers’ Data Privacy

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The Federal Government has begun the probing of online banks over their alleged breaches of customers’ data privacy, it has been learned.

The Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, who gave this disclosure in Abuja on Monday, said the agency is working with the Nigeria Police Force and other relevant agencies to investigate several lending platforms, popularly called loan shark platforms.

He said this at the National Privacy Week 2022. “We are working with relevant agencies to make sure we address that challenge because it is not only NITDA’s mandate that governs everything. When you talk about any financial services, it is the CBN. When you talk about general complaints, there is a commission for that. But NITDA plays a critical role because of the breach of data privacy”.

“We have sanctioned some of them. We are working with the Nigerian police, investigating many of them. We are working to address the challenge,” Inuwa said.

Amidst all outcry of data invasion by Nigerians against lending platforms, NITDA had imposed a fine of N10m on Soko Loan for data breach last August.

A tech policy analyst at Tech Hive Advisory Limited, Tolulope Ogundele, urged the Federal Government to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach by involving the private sector to enhance a better understanding of the lending sector.

She said, “It goes beyond just working or collaborating with other agencies; a multi-stakeholder approach must be adopted. The government must seek the involvement of the private sector in order to understand the lending sector.

“Before these collaborations amount to any form of regulation, there is a cogent need to thoroughly understand the lending industry and the role of its players but the move to collaborate is a good step and start by the government. However, we must not get carried away with that.”

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