The Nigeria Data Protection Commission is investigating over 400 complaints it got from users of online lending platforms, The PUNCH has learnt.

A source in the commission informed our correspondent on Wednesday that several loan sharks are under scrutiny before any form of approval would be granted.

A message from the source read, “In addition, ‘loan sharks’ have come under scrutiny lately with Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission mandating privacy compliance and clearance by NDPC before granting approval to online lenders. Findings also revealed that the commission is investigating over 400 complaints in the online lending sector.”

The PUNCH earlier reported that Nigerians made 1,350 calls to report data breaches in 2021, according to the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation Performance Report 2020-2021.

In August 2021, The PUNCH reported that Soko Lending Company Limited, an online lending platform, was sanctioned with a fine of N10m for privacy invasion.

According to the official, Soko Loan is working to enter the digital lending market but is yet to get the Commission’s approval.

Our correspondent was also informed that the commission has been getting regular complaints about unlawful data processing, unauthorised access to personal data and violation of data subjects’ rights.

The newly signed Data Protection Act 2023 places a fine of two per cent of the gross revenue of any company found guilty of data violation.

This means that a violating data controller with a turn-over of N200bn yearly may pay as high as N2bn, which represents two percent of the gross revenue.

Also, an offender is liable to a one-year jail term, according to the new Act.

The PUNCH earlier reported that the commission said it would prosecute the Chief Executive Officer of any government agency found guilty of data breaches.

The National Commissioner for the NDPC, Dr Vincent Olatunji, had said that while private organisations could be made to pay a fine for data breaches, asking a government agency to pay a fine is the government fining itself.

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