Android users in a fix as UIDAI toll free number mysteriously appears in contact list

Amid heightened privacy concerns, many on social media have questioned how the UIDAI helpline number had crept into their smartphone contact list.

By Author  |  Published: 3rd Aug 2018  6:42 pmUpdated: 3rd Aug 2018  7:02 pm
UIDAI

New Delhi: While the UIDAI today said it has not asked any device maker or service provider to include its toll free number on mobile phones, and clarified that the number 1800-300-1947 appearing in the contact list of Android phones is an “outdated and invalid” helpline number, the mystery as to how the Aadhaar helpline crept into many Android users’ contact list is unsolved.

Distancing itself from the backlash it faced on social media over the default inclusion of ‘1800-300-1947’ in contact list of Android phones, the Unique Identification Authority of India said in a statement that, “…the said 18003001947 is not a valid UIDAI toll free number and some vested interests are trying to create unwarranted confusion in the public”. The UIDAI’s valid toll free number is 1947, which is functional for more than the last two years, it said.

Referring to the reports on automatic inclusion of the UIDAI’s “outdated and invalid” helpline number 1800-300-1947 in phone’s contact list, the Aadhaar-issuing body said that it “has not asked or communicated to any manufacturer or service provider for providing any such facility whatsoever”.

Amid heightened privacy concerns, many on social media have questioned how the UIDAI helpline number had crept into their smartphone contact list.

Yesterday, a French security expert who goes under the pseudonym Elliot Alderson and describes himself as “the worst nightmare” of the UIDAI had tweeted:

A vigilante hacker who uses the handle @fs0c131y on Twitter, Alderson was vocal during the recent Aadhaar dare thrown by Trai chief R S Sharma and has, in the past, also revealed the purported flaws in Aadhaar system.

(With inputs from PTI)