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Facebook Mulling Aadhaar Prompt to Take on Fake Accounts: Report

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Facebook starts testing Aadhaar based feature on its mobile site.

Today Government of India is receiving lot of flaks from all quarters for making mandatory to connect Aadhaar Card with almost every damn thing. However, the social media giant Facebook seems to have not paid any heeds to this. It is currently busy testing an Aadhaar-based feature on its mobile site, which prompts all those users wanting to open a new account to feed the exact name that has been mentioned on their Aadhaar card. This step, Facebook claims, will help in curbing the fake accounts on its platform.

According to the reports, this Aadhaar-based prompt is not yet been seen in Facebook’s desktop version. The prompt is been seen only in the mobile version and a Reddit user was the first one to spot it. While creating a new account, Facebook’s mobile site is asking the users “What’s your name?” followed by a quick message that says – “Using the name on your Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognize you.” However, the important thing to note is that this is an optional prompt and hence users may choose to ignore it all together. Besides, this prompt is being run only for few selected users.

Since Facebook is not yet demanding Aadhaar card number, it may not immediately evoke privacy concerns among users. Nonetheless, social media giant’s decision to join Aadhaar bandwagon will add fresh intensity to the ongoing debate of whether Aadhaar is impinging on people’s privacy. On other hand, it cannot be denied that curbing the menace of fake account is equally important to control problems like cyberbullying and sexually explicit contents on social media platforms.

Facebook is not the first big tech company to demand Aadhaar details. Few weeks back, e-commerce giant Amazon had asked Aadhaar card numbers from few of its customers in order to retrieve their lost packages. A Bengaluru based car rental startup has gone one step ahead. It has reportedly refused to rent cars to any customers unless they furnish their Aadhaar Card.

Privacy supporters claim that by sharing Aadhaar card details on the Internet, users stand the risk of their Aadhaar card details being hacked and used for anti-social activities. They also cast apprehensions over the fact that internet and marketing companies may use Aadhaar details for commercial purposes.

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