Nigeria shuts down  loan apps for privacy violations

The Federal Government of Nigeria has shut down seven digital lending apps for privacy violations. Officers from various agencies carried out raids on the offices of the loan apps, following complaints by consumers about their unfair debt recovery practices. The officers were drawn from the Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC). theIndependent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). Okash, GoCash, EasyCredit, KashKash, Easy Moni, Speedy Choice, and Sokoloan- had their offices shut down. 

Nigeria witnessed a rise in digital lending apps during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the apps enhance financial inclusion by giving micro-loans to people without collateral, they have also been accused of violating privacy. For example, using data obtained during installation of the app, the app owners call the borrower’s contacts when the borrower defaults.