Telecom operators not responsible for default saving of UIDAI helpline number: COAI

Aadhaar Number

New Delhi, Aug 3:  The telecom industry has denied any role in the strange incident in which an old toll-free helpline number of UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) got automatically stored on a large number of Android-powered smartphones.

The denial comes after smartphone users in India were startled on Friday as a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI, the implementation agency of Aadhaar number was found saved in their phonebooks.

“The inclusion of a certain unknown number in the phonebooks of various mobile handsets is not from any telecom service provider,” Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in a statement.

Telecom companies, however, declined to comment on the matter and said that COAI’s stand is the uniform stand of the industry.

On Friday, thousands expressed anger through social media platforms on the “breach of privacy”.

“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 of the saved number.

“How the hell this got into my phone book? If you can do this, then you can read and monitor my activities,” another user tweeted.

However, UIDAI said that the toll-free number –1800-300-1947 — being reported to have been saved in the contact list of Android phones was outdated and invalid.

“UIDAI’s valid toll free number is 1947 which is functional for more than the last two years… UIDAI has not asked or communicated to any manufacturer or service provider for providing any such facility whatsoever,” an official statement said.


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