UIDAI says it has not asked telcos to save toll-free number in phonebooks

Several Android and some iOS users in India are reporting about the sudden Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) toll-free helpline number being saved in their contacts by default. UIDAI has replaced the helpline number with new 1800-300-1947 that got into people’s phonebooks without their consent.

French security expert, Elliot Alderson who is famous for pointing out security loopholes with the Aadhar system is back again and this time he Tweeted “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.”

UIDAI has responded on the sudden uproar on Twitter saying that it has not asked or communicated with any manufacturer or service provider for providing any such facility and the said ‘18003001947’ is not a valid UIDAI toll-free number, instead clarifies that the valid toll-free number is 1947 which is functional for more than the last two years. However, the ‘18003001947’ number is mentioned on Aadhaar card. This really is creating a lot of confusion among the public, and UIDAI says that some vested interest are trying to do this.

This comes days after TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers by sharing his Aadhaar number, after which hackers exposed at least 14 personal details about him.