In the past few days, you might have noticed tweets against Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Android smartphone users started noticing the UIDAI toll-free helpline number was saved in their contact list automatically. For this, UIDAI had responded saying that they have not asked any manufacturer or service provider to save the number and the saved ‘1800-300-1947’ is outdated and an invalid UIDAI toll-free number.
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?
— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) August 2, 2018
Now, Google India has responded to this whole saga and have stated that they’re responsible for it. “Our internal review has revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and have remained there since. Since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device.
We are sorry for any concern that this might have caused and would like to assure everyone that this is not a situation of an unauthorized access of their Android devices. Users can manually delete the number from their devices. We will work towards fixing this in an upcoming release of SetUp wizard which will be made available to OEMs over the next few weeks”.
Also, some of the iOS users also are seeing the UIDAI contact in their list as it may have got synced when they moved from Android to iPhone. Further, Google also assured that this is not an unauthorized access of their Android devices. Google is working on a fix, which will be rolled out to all OEMs in an upcoming release of the setup wizard.
If you are seeing the UIDAI number in your contact list, don’t worry, no one is trying to hack you or steal your data. It is just part of the Android OS Setup.
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