The toll-free number of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is said to be saved inside the phonebooks of several smartphone users. Thousands of smartphone users in India woke up puzzled on Friday with a UIDAI toll-free helpline number saved in their phonebooks by default. UIDAI, which is yet to issue an official statement on this, has replaced the earlier helpline number of 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, as reported by IANS.
The French security expert, Elliot Alderson, 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?”
To check whether the phone number got installed on your smartphone, head over to the Contacts or Phone app and search for UIDAI. Having said that, there seems to be nothing to worry about as the UIDAI number is one of the emergency contact numbers, along with the Distress Number (112).
Twitter was abuzz again with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman RS Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers. For the unaware, RS Sharma made a tweetstorm by sharing his 12-digit Aadhaar number on July 28, which led to a massive outage across the country.
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.