Thousands of smartphone users in India woke up puzzled on Friday with a Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) toll-free helpline number saved in their phonebooks by default.
UIDAI has replaced the earlier helpline number -- 1800-300-1947 -- with the new number -- 1947, which got into people's phonebooks without their consent.
"This is no joke as it is on my phone too. I didn't save this number. Check your phone asap, feeling worried," a user tweeted with a screenshot.
Meanwhile, the Aadhaar body said that it has not asked any service provider or manufacturer to add the helpline number to users' smartphones.
A French security expert who goes by the name Elliot Alderson on Twitter, 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?"
Hi @UIDAI,Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) August 2, 2018
Many people, with different provider, 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 and so without their knowledge. Can you explain why?
Twitter was abuzz again with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma's open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.
Sharma made a tweetstorm by sharing his 12-digit Aadhaar number on July 28.
Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth (DoB), PAN number and voter ID, among others.
Following this, UIDAI went on to issue an advisory asking people to refrain from sharing their Aadhaar numbers with anyone or anywhere, saying that sharing Aadhaar numbers is against the law.
It further added, on Twitter, that any person ‚Äėindulging in such acts or abetting or inciting others to do so makes themselves liable for prosecution and penal action under the law. Therefore, people should refrain from such acts.‚ÄĚ
In other news, UIDAI has issued a notification that it will start a new service from next year where Aadhaar holders can update their address easily by using a letter containing a secret PIN. This is for those who do not have valid proof of residence.