Facebook has started asking its new users to use their Aadhaar name for opening an account. Facebook has started testing the use of Aadhaar as an example to encourage new users in India to use their real names on its site. The latest move is aimed at curbing the number of fake accounts on the social media platform that has over 241 million users in the country, making India the second largest market for Facebook after the US.
The social media giant, however, is not asking new users to give their Aadhaar number but just the name as written on their Aadhaar cards. The idea of Facebook using Aadhaar to verify user accounts is not only absurd, but also a huge risk to individual privacy. Fortunately, that is not what’s happening here.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.
— Srinivas Kodali | శ్రీనివాస్ కొడాలి (@digitaldutta) December 26, 2017
However, Facebook declined to answer queries regarding the possibility of Aadhaar linkage in the future, and whether users in other countries are similarly prompted to use their real names with specific reference to relevant government IDs in the region. However, sources in the company said a small percentage of Indian users who are signing up for the service on mobile can see this message for now.
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