Facebook may soon seek your Aadhar card details while signing up. While this triggered an outrage over privacy of users regarding sensitive details, Facebook clarified that users had to enter the name as per Aadhar to counter fake accounts. This feature is under testing and it’s not mandatory that the name matches with the Aadhar card.

The main aim of this is to discourage users to create fake accounts on facebook. As people in India often create multiple Facebook accounts, there is a need to counter this. 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 recognize them. This is an optional prompt which we are testing, people are not required to enter the name on their Aadhaar card.” 

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When we tried creating an account on Facebook, we were prompted to enter the name as per Aadhar. The prompt message showed  “Using the name on your Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognise you”. This feature has been rolled to out small percentage of users who use Facebook on mobile in India.

Will Facebook need your Aadhar Card details in future?

Based on the feedback, Facebook will have to decide whether to roll out the feature publicly or not. Currently, there’s no mechanism setup to verify your Facebook username with Aadhar. In case Facebook makes Aadhar mandatory, then there will be various issues that Facebook will face. Firstly, many users will hesitate from sharing their Aadhar details to a platform that’s known to collect sensitive information. Secondly, many people have multiple Facebook accounts, if only one Aadhar number can be used for one Facebook account the other accounts will get blocked. This will hamper Facebook’s active users.

What do you think about this feature? How safe will it be if Facebook makes Aadhar mandatory?

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