For the uninitiated, many people recently found UIDAI number in their phones even though they never saved it.
A lot of people have @UIDAI in their contact list by default. I’m thinking aloud: What if it is only the top of the iceberg?I really need to know now. If you have an Indian phone firmware, I’m your man, please send it to me! https://t.co/xRVNM72f1u— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) August 2, 2018
This started a chain of reaction among people, most of whom were confused and slightly freaked out at this alleged breach of privacy.
@sachideal I don't have aadhaar, never even been near an enrollment centre. And have resisted every attempt to force me to get one. I still have the uidai number on my phone.— நாடிகா Nadika (@NadjaNadika) August 2, 2018
Never noticed it. So they r already tracking our activities ?— Shailendra (@I_have_to_ask) August 2, 2018
they might track thru other apps which are linked with aadhaar... like IRCTC, bank apps, mobile / isp app, namoapp, etc (which are asking for almost full access),— The Legend (@TheLegendChap) August 2, 2018
Seeing the entire thing going out of hand after sufficient media coverage, UIDAI took to Twitter to clarify that it has not asked the service providers to give any such facility and that the mentioned number is outdated.
#PressStatement In the wake of some media reports on default inclusion of UIDAI’s outdated & invalid Toll free no. 1800-300-1947 in contact list of Android phones... 1/n— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) August 3, 2018
... It is clarified that, UIDAI has not asked or communicated to any manufacturer or service provider for providing any such facility whatsoever. 2/n— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) August 3, 2018
It is emphasised that the said 18003001947 is not a valid UIDAI Toll free number and some vested interest are trying to create unwarranted confusion in the public. 3/n— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) August 3, 2018
Our valid Toll free number is 1947 which is functional for more than the last two years. 4/5— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) August 3, 2018
UIDAI has reiterated that it has not asked or advised anyone including any telecom service providers or mobile manufacturers or Android to include 18003001947 or 1947 in the default list of public service numbers.#### 5/5— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) August 3, 2018
To this, people replied asking why is the number mentioned on the Aadhaar card and various other websites if it is invalid.
Ok then why this number printed on Adhaar card 🤦♂️🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/wpXdrCr4W3— Kishor Kunal (@UturnSarkar) August 3, 2018
If it is not a valid UIDAI Toll free number, why Gurugram Dist. website https://t.co/6D4Goeo6IP showing it? Why many other sites display it? It must be working at some point in time. You cheated us enough Dear backdoor authority. pic.twitter.com/8cnDAr43iB— తెలుగోడు - బాబోరి అభిరుద్ది బాధితుడు #బుడుగుసేన (@budugodu) August 3, 2018
my aadhar card has that number (1800-300-1947) on it! right under the barcode.— anilkarat (@anilkarat) August 3, 2018
Some people, on the other hand, were just plain confused and angry.
Check ur phone address book. U'l see an entry for #UIDAI with the number 1800-300-1947Mystery!Entered our phones without our permissionEntered our house without permissionEntered our personal lives without permissionOur vote could be cast without our permission or selection— Vaishali Singh (@imvaishalisingh) August 3, 2018
This is bizarre. Why should Telecom operators on their own add a UIDAI contact number to people's contact lists without their knowledge and that too a wrong number as it now appears? Something does not add up. #UIDAI @nixxin @fs0c131y @troyhunt https://t.co/sWaDIgXYe0— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) August 3, 2018
So who saved UIDAI helpline no. in my contacts?1. Google2. Paytm3. Truecaller4. WhatsappWill the real slim shady please stand up?— Kamlesh Singh | Bana de Lohagarh (@kamleshksingh) August 3, 2018
Wtf is this? This automatically got added to my phone book without my consent / prior intimation. Checked after seeing some updates by others on twitter. Anyone has answers for this? This is scary. 😕 #Aadhaar #UIDAI pic.twitter.com/0gVRWTyobd— Siddharth Agarwal (@sidagarwal) August 3, 2018
Looks like @GoogleIndia may have something to do with this.On Rooted phones1. Go to /data/data/com.android.providers.contacts2. Open databases folder3. Open contacts.db with some sqllite browser4. Now, open table, "raw_contact"5. Search for display_name=UIDAI#UIDAI @UIDAI pic.twitter.com/52nOy7QNLK— Sweet Abyss (@TrueAthiest) August 3, 2018
This a social security breach.Millions of mobile users have an unknown invalid number automatically stored in their contact list as UIDAI. Wasn’t UIDAI using this number earlier? Why was there no public announcement about it being outdated? #UIDAI, Who is responsible then? https://t.co/IvH7XJ95lo— Sanobar (@SanobarFatma) August 3, 2018