Data Privacy

NPC recommends prosecution of online lending company for data privacy violation

The Philippines’ National Data Privacy Commission (NPC) finds the operator of Fynamics Lending Inc., the operator of the PondoPeso online lending application, has violated provisions in the Data Privacy Act of 2012

In 2019, the NPC called 67 online lenders for complaints of public shaming their clients who were unable to settle their dues.

In a 40-page decision, the NPC recommends the prosecution of the owners and officials of the firm. The decision, which was served to the respondents on Feb. 15 and 16, 2021, has been forwarded to the Department of Justice.

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“The National Privacy Commission once again reminds businesses to adhere to the data privacy law and respect their customers’ data privacy rights,” said Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro. “To operators and companies behind online lending applications whose business model exploits borrowers, the Commission is determined to halt your unethical and illegal use of your customers’ personal information. The law will make you pay for the deliberate and willful violation of the Data Privacy Act.”

The NPC’s investigation concludes that Fynamics app, PondoPeso, accessed its clients’ contact list and called them without consent. The company’s representatives also used these pieces of information in harassing, threatening, and coercing them to settle their loans.

The NPC also found the company posted lenders’ sensitive personal information on social media.

A total of 113 complaints were made against Fynamics’ online lending app from July 6, 2018, to July 31, 2019.

If found guilty, the officers of Fynamics face imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of up to P2 million (about $41,000) for the unauthorized processing of personal information. The processing of “sensitive” personal information has a penalty of P4 million (about $82,000) and six years of imprisonment.