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FG Bans Online Banks from Accessing Customers Personal Information

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The federal government says it would enforce the latest policy by Google, consistent with the Nigerian authorities’ move to curtail the invasion of customers’ privacy by loan app firms.

Google in its April 2023 policy updates, effective from May 31, 2023 said they were updating personal loans policy which states that apps aiming to provide or facilitate personal loans may not access user contacts or photos.

This new policy is coming after the firm announced updates to its Developer Programme Policy, mandating digital money lenders in Nigeria, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Kenya to conform to regulatory rules.

According to the firm, only digital money lenders that have adhered to and completed the limited interim regulatory and registration framework for digital lending, 2022 will be allowed on play store in Nigeria.

Commenting on the new policy, the Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, stated that it was a welcome development and shows that Google was institutionalising its regulatory policy.

He said, “It is a welcome development effort and is consistent with the position the FCCPC has taken and what we are enforcing.

“Google is now institutionalising our regulatory effort as a policy, which is very welcome.

“It is certainly important for proper regulatory oversight of the industry, and we commend Google for taking a position that is consistent with our position as regulators.”

He added, “Recall that we took this position earlier and what has happened is that Google has looked at the regulatory landscape, looked at the regulatory priorities, and is supporting those priorities by institutionalizing those regulatory priorities and position.”

The FCCPC recently stated that it has approved 173 digital lending applications to operate in the country. 119 of these got full approvals while 54 got conditional approvals. This move became necessary after loan apps started harassing Nigerians by sending defaming messages to their contacts, and more.

The commission’s ‘Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending 2022’ is an attempt to regulate the digital lending space and make registration and approval a prerequisite for companies seeking to operate in the space.

 

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