The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Sunday issued a statement on Aadhaar helpline controversy and made it clear that it can’t steal your data. The Aadhaar issuing authority further said vested interests used Google’s inadvertent act on its helpline number to create fear and tarnish the image of Aadhaar.

In a series of tweets, the UIDAI said that it may be noted that the Google has clarified that UIDAI’s old contact number 18003001947 was added by it “inadvertently” along with police/fire number 112 in 2014 and has since been continuing through sync mechanism. It has also expressed its regret for the same. In another tweet, the Aadhaar issuing authority said that Google has also assured that it will fix this inadvertent error in their next release and stated that the users may if they wish, can delete the number.

It further condemned the vested interest who tried to misuse Google’s “inadvertent” act as an opportunity to spread rumours and go around fear-mongering against Aadhaar.

In a warning, the UIDAI said, “people should stay away from such rumours and malicious campaign by vested interests. They should also not waste their time and time to their near and dear ones by forwarding or circulating such false and baseless rumours on their WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook etc.”

Praising Aadhaar over its benefits, the UIDAI said that it empowered 121 crore people of India with a credible and secure identity which can be freely used anywhere, anytime and online. People are able to get their rightful entitlement directly into their bank accounts without any middlemen.

It comes a day after Google admitted that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI number into its setup wizard for Andriod. Earlier, the UIDAI issued an alert to mobile users against Aadhaar ‘helpline number’ appearing in their contact list.  For quite some time now, Aadhaar has been at the centre of controversy with opposition parties accusing the government of imposing the 12-digit unique identification on people. 

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