Screenshot of the UIDAI helpline number on an android phone (Source: BloombergQuint)

Many Questions, Few Answers On UIDAI Helpline Mystery

Still bothered about the sudden appearance of UIDAI helpline number in your Android phone? The Aadhaar authority clarified in a thread of tweets that the added helpline number—1800-300-1947—is outdated as well as invalid.

Yet, the fundamental whodunnit question remains unanswered.

Neither the government nor the UIDAI asked any of the operators to add this number, NK Goyal, chairman emeritus of Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India, told BloombergQuint in an interview. To the best of his information, he said, none of the mobile manufacturers asked to add the number.

Was it then the telecom operators? Cellular Operators Association of India denied that.

“The inclusion of a certain unknown number in the phonebooks of various mobile handsets is not from any telecom service provider,” the lobby group said in a statement.

If neither the UIDAI nor the wireless carriers asked for the number to be added, then who did?

“This is definitely being propagated by Google,” says technology enthusiast Kingsly John said. Google is the only entity that has access to all Android phones, he said, adding that the government is the only one entity which has an interest “in propagating both these (UIDAI helpline and distress) numbers”.

Kiran Jonnalagadda, co-founder of Internet Freedom Foundation, said users should be worried if a hardware manufacturer or a software provider “has the ability to do with your phone as they please”.

It is up to the government to now clarify their stance. Do they force companies to do such things or do they not?
Kiran Jonnalagadda, Co-Founder, Internet Freedom Foundation

Watch the full interview here :