Google Admits Adding UIDAI Helpline Number To Android Phones In 2014
A number of people in India found a Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number – 1800-300-1947 and Distress number – 112, showing up on their smartphones without their consent on 3 August 2018. The UIDAI immediately released a statement denying that it has not asked or communicated to any manufacturer or service provider for providing any such facility whatsoever.
The UIDAI said that the number is outdated and invalid and some vested interest are trying to create unwarranted confusion in the public. UIDAI also states that their valid Toll free number is 1947 which is functional for more than the last two years.
#PressStatement In the wake of some media reports on default inclusion of UIDAI’s outdated & invalid Toll free no. 1800-300-1947 in contact list of Android phones… 1/n
— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) August 3, 2018
Hours after the UIDAI denied any involvement, Google accepted that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI number into its setup wizard for Android.
“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 has 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,” a statement from Google said.
— Google India (@GoogleIndia) August 3, 2018
This confession by Google has somewhat puts to rest the confusion about how the helpline number creeped into their smartphones.