Three major online lending companies were found guilty of alleged public shaming of borrowers, and officers may face an imprisonment of up to seven years and fines of not more than P5 million under the Data Privacy Act of 2012, the National Privacy Commission said Friday.
Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro said the board members of online lending firms Fast Cash Global Lending Inc., Unipeso Lending Company Inc. and Fynamics Lending Inc. would face criminal prosecution for violating sections of the DPA.
“The investigation determined that their business practice specifically targets the privacy of persons, practically making a profit out of people’s fear of losing face and dignity. These unethical practices simply have no place in a civilized society and must stop,” said Liboro.
The number of complaints filed against Fast Cash Global Lending Inc., which operates Fast Cash online app, has reached 166 as of July 31 this year. Charges were against directors and board members Kellon De Jesus Manalastas, Tiancai Huang, John Christian Sia, Jovy Co Ting and Zichao Su.
The number of complaints filed against Unipeso Lending Company Inc., which operates Cashlending online app, has reached 138. Charged before the commission are executives Haolong Li, Guanqun Luo, Flordeluna Rosell, Rizza Mae Lorilla and Renyvic Duquiatan.
Complaints against Fynamics Lending Inc., which operates Pondo Peso online app, reached 133. Charges were filed against officers Meng Li, Changjin Wang, Kwinnie Mae Fianza, Jacquielyn Chua Garrido, Helen Joy Amican de Luna and Bernard Salvacion Jr.
The fact-finding reports gave the commission sufficient grounds to establish that the three lending companies had not complied with legal requirements for processing personal data, failed to adhere to the principles of transparency, legitimate purpose and proportionality, and committed unauthorized processing, processing for unauthorized purpose, malicious disclosure and unauthorized disclosure.
“Report found that the penalties inflicted on borrowers by these online lenders are abusive. The public shaming they carried out has caused anxiety, depression; some have even lost jobs and feel they became unemployable, that their reputation and future was put in jeopardy. The permanence of these damages is disproportionate to the mere delinquency in paying debts, sometimes as low as one thousand pesos,” Liboro said.