Madam Patricia Adusei-Poku, Executive Director of the Data Protection Commission, has warned Ghanaians about the activities of some unlawful online loan firms.
She claimed that several of these online loan providers are unregulated and thus cannot operate.
According to her, these applications require certain permissions upon installation, including access to users’ private information such as contacts, text messages, location, images, and calendar, with the data gathered being used to shame borrowers who fail to pay back the accessed loan.
Madam Patricia Adusei-Poku also stated that digital lending services have become an increasingly convenient way for people to get credit, while many are unable or unsuitable to secure loans from traditional suppliers like banks.
The loan services, she lamented, have abnormal loan interest, adding that the Data Protection Commission has recently received a slew of complaints about the harassment and debt-shaming approaches these online digital loan services use to deal with defaulters, necessitating the need to avoid loan acquisition from them to avoid the shame and distractions.
As a result, she has recommended citizens avoid using these application programmes to protect their privacy.
She stated that it has been difficult for the Bank of Ghana and the cyber security department to crack down on the producers of these apps because their operating criteria are centred online with no physical premises.
Some of the developers, according to her, live outside the nation, with just their representatives in Ghana supporting these fraudulent activities, making it impossible for the Bank of Ghana and cyber security to apprehend and prosecute them.
She stated the effect of exposing privacy to the public, indicating that once your privacy is exposed, it is very difficult to remove them unless the person in question is compelled to delete them, and thus it is critical to avoid disclosing personal information to unknown sources as a result of destitution.