Major Privacy Breach : UIDAI Number Saved In Contact List Of Smartphones On Its Own

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Sukhbeer Kaur
A writer in search of her story. A student of University of Delhi.

Do you think you have control on that smartphone that you’re using? Many people must be thinking “OBVIOUSLY YES!” Umm, it’s time to wake up.

A mysterious happening made over a thousand Indians scratch their heads this Friday. These people found a Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) toll-free helpline number saved in their phone which they don’t recollect saving themselves. The number, 1800-300-1947, has created a great deal of confusion and insecurity amongst the smartphone users.

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Image source: Google. 

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The wave started when a worried user tweeted: 

“This is no joke as it is on my phone too. I didn’t save this number. Check your phone asap, feeling worried.”

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The UIDAI, however issued a statement on Friday, denying any connection with it, “whatsoever”. It read: “The UIDAI has not asked or communicated to any manufacturer or service provider for providing any such facility whatsoever.” It went on to say: “The said 18003001947 is not a valid UIDAI Toll free number and some vested interest are trying to create unwarranted confusion in the public. UIDAI‚Äôs valid Toll free number is 1947 which is functional for more than the last two years.”

Following Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge, Twitter went ablaze with another tweet-storm. One of the tweets was from Mr. Elliot Alderson, a French security expert, which asked UIDAI: “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?”

What’s more, there have been no statements from any of the major telecom operators yet.

Please check your phones to see if this number is present in your phonebook or not.

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