The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Friday issued an alert to mobile users against ‘helpline number’ appearing in their contact list. It comes in the wake of some media reports on default inclusion of the UIDAI’s outdated and invalid toll-free number 1800-300-1947 in the contact list of Andriod phones. The UIDAI, in its official clarification on the matter, added that UIDAI hasn’t asked any manufacturer or service provider for any providing any such facility whatsoever.
Issuing a press release over the matter, the UIDAI, the government agency which issues Aadhaar, emphasised that Aadhaar helpline number 1800-300-1947, appearing in the contact list of mobile users, is not a valid UIDAI toll-free number and some vested interest are trying to create unwarranted confusion in the public. UIDAI’s valid toll-free number is 1947 which is functional for more than the last 2 years.
For quite some time now, the UIDAI has been at the centre of controversy over various issues, including privacy of Aadhaar users. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chief RS Sharma recently sparked a controversy after he challenged hackers to reveal his personal details, sharing his Aadhaar number on social media. Soon after he shared his Aadhaar number on Twitter, RS Sharma’s challenge turned into a misadventure and people started posting his personal details publicly, including his confidential details like PAN.
However, the UIDAI had dismissed the leak reports, saying that RS Sharma has been in the government service for decades, so his details are already in public. Later, the UIDAI asked the Aadhaar users to not share their 12-digit unique identification number publicly.
Opposition parties have attacked the government and raised the concern over the secrecy of Aadhaar users data. Meanwhile, the government has claimed that they have successfully implemented the Aadhaar scheme.