NEW DELHI: Social networking giant Facebook has clarified that it is not collecting any Aadhaar data and was requesting people to key in only their name “as per aadhaar” records during sign up just for a small test. “The test ran with a small number of users in India and has now finished… We currently have no plans to roll this test out further..,” the California based company said in a blogpost on Wednesday.
It was reported that a small of people who are signing up for Facebook from their mobile are seeing a prompt asking them to enter names as per their Aadhaar details.
Facebook had said earlier that it was testing a new feature and the idea was to encourage users to put their real names as they enter the social network for the first time.
“There have been a number of reports about a small test we ran in India to help new users sign up to Facebook. Some have interpreted this test as a request for people’s Aadhaar information when you sign up for a Facebook account. This is not correct. The test, which has now finished, merely includes additional language on the account sign-up page to explain that using their Aadhaar name will help family and friends recognize them. We are not collecting Aadhaar data and do not require people to enter their Aadhaar name when they sign up to Facebook,” the company said in the blogpost authored by Product Manager, Taichi Hoshino.
In India, which is Facebook’s one of the biggest markets, the social networking giant has over 200 million users.
The blogpost added that the goal of this test was to help new users understand how to sign up to Facebook with their real name and connect with their friends and family. “At the point of account sign-up, users who were part of the test saw language that said, “using the name on your Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognize you.” This is an optional prompt that we were testing.” It said that people were not required to enter the name on their Aadhaar card, and there is no integration or authentication with Aadhaar.
In the recent past, the linkages with Aadhaar – especially by the government — have come under public scrutiny due to the debate over user privacy.