Facebook Avoids Questions About Possible Aadhaar Linkage In Future

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New users signing up on Facebook via the mobile application are seeing a prompt that asks them to enter their names just as it is on their Aadhaar cards.A Facebook spokesperson said, “We want to make sure people can use the names they’re known by on Facebook, and can easily connect with friends and family. This is a small test where we provide additional language when people sign up for an account to say that using the name on their Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognise them. This is an optional prompt which we are testing, people are not required to enter the name on their Aadhaar card.”

Facebook has declined to answer any questions about the possibility of the linkage of the Aadhaar identity to the Facebook profiles in the future. There are also no clear answers whether users in other countries are being prompted to enter their names as per some government issued ID in that country. Sources from the company revealed that only a small percentage of users from India who are signing up for the social platform are being prompted with this message. Twitter user @digitaldutta posted a screenshot of the prompt, saying “Just what you need @facebook wants you to enter your name as exactly in your #Aadhaar card.”

In 2016, then managing director of Facebook in India, Umang Bedi, had said that Aadhaar may present “interesting use cases” in the future. “…if a person has an identity on Facebook and has the ability to hook on to a third-party framework for payments, it really is a seamless transition. Today banks are allowing you to authenticate with an Aadhaar digital identity instead of an ATM pin. That is a use case of Aadhaar to remove cash. Aadhaar is just a secure identity. It’s not linked. Facebook is a real identity of people. But over time there could be interesting use cases that emerge,” Bedi had then told TOI. He has since left the company .

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