The Aadhaar and the privacy issue just became prominent all over again as the Unique Identification Authority of India today denied that it had directed telecom operators, phone makers or Google to include a toll-free number for its ID card project Aadhaar.
The clarification came after the helpline was spotted by many smartphone users.
The users spotted that the number was inexplicably added to their contact lists across different parts of the country.
“In the wake of some media reports on default inclusion of UIDAI’s outdated & invalid Toll free no. 1800-300-1947 in contact list of Android phones, it is clarified that, UIDAI has not asked or communicated to any manufacturer or service provider for providing any such facility whatsoever.
It is emphasised that the said 18003001947is not a valid UIDAI Toll free number and some vested interest are trying to create unwarranted confusion in the public.
Our valid Toll free number is 1947 which is functional for more than the last two years. UIDAI has reiterated that it has not asked or advised anyone including any telecom service providers or mobile manufacturers or Android to include 18003001947 or 1947 in the default list of public service numbers,” it said in a statement on Twitter.
The statement came after it was reported that thousands of smartphone users in India found the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) toll-free helpline number saved in their phonebooks by default.
A French security expert, Elliot Alderson, asked UIDAI on Twitter: “Many people, with different providers, with and without an #Aadhaar card, with and without the mAadhaar app installed, noticed that your phone number is predefined in their contact list by default without their knowledge. Can you explain why?”>