Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Man considers suing loan app for exposing info to employer. Is it legal?

Some battles, including those taken to court, can be tough to fight. An unidentified individual allegedly might pursue legal action regarding a breach of privacy after a loan app shared his information with his employer.

Social media influencer and content creator Llewelyn Ouya (Mr Know It All) shared a snippet of a message showing a conversation he had with the disgruntled man who appeared to have borrowed money from a loan app.

“Mkuu, kindly hide my ID. Can one sue a loan app for exposing your info to your employer and if yes where can you sue them,” the message read.

With many Kenyans feeling the impact of the economic recession, some unregulated lenders may have seized the opportunity to exploit them. In the past, there have been efforts to crack down on mobile loan apps that violate and misuse their clients’ personal data.

Although economists may praise digital lenders for boosting financial inclusion in a country where few people have bank accounts, some of these loan apps have faced accusations of unethical practices regarding data privacy, particularly following a loan default.

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Kenya’s Data Commissioner Immaculate Kassait previously passed on a law to ensure that the loan apps would not abuse private data, in a move seemingly meant to crack down on predatory lenders.

“The (new) law makes it an additional requirement for digital lenders to comply with the Data Protection Act, should they wish to retain their licences,” she said previously.

In the case of the man whose details were shared with his employer, although this may be considered a minor breach of personal data usage, a spot check by Bizna Kenya revealed that the T&Cs outlined by the lender allow it to share such information.

“In no event will we or our suppliers be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, incidental, special, consequential damages or any damages whatsoever including, without limitation, damages for loss of use, data/profits, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or performance of the service, with the delay or inability to use the service, the provision or failure to provide service, or for any loan obtained through the service, or otherwise arising out of the use of the service, whether based on contract, tort, negligence, strict liability or otherwise,” reads one of the laid out T&C’s by a Kenyan based mobile lender.

Content Creator Llewelyn Ouya encouraged Lawyers present on his timeline to provide their insights on this issue. Here are a few handpicked comments:

Austine Ochieng Dieto: Actually as security, some lenders could seek your employer’s approval before advancing the facility. 

Kibet Sam: As a lawyer, you have the right to privacy under our constitution. You are the one who surrendered your information to the said app.

As such you cannot claim breach if you were not compelled to do so….mark you the lender did not share the info publicly but to the employer. Meaning this borrower had named the employer as surety in case of default. My take. 

Brenda Konga: The problem is that the loanee accepted the terms and conditions of those apps, so it’s a bit hard to escape their wrath when it falls on them. 

Arsina: Don’t go to court. Go to the data protection office and complain

Sewe Odero: He who seeks equity must come with clean hands. The loan app exposed you because you did not pay them. 

Emmanuel Kirui: So can afford a lawyer and not probably small mobile loans. 

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