Facebook says the new feature is aimed at encouraging users to enter their real names while signing up
Facebook is testing a new feature in India wherein it is encouraging new users to enter their names as per their Aadhaar card.
The move is aimed at encouraging users to put their real names on the social network. Since it’s being tested with a small population in India, not all users may be able to see this. It is worth pointing out here that the Aadhaar-based sign up is not mandatory.
Facebook confirmed that it is indeed testing such feature.
“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,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
Note that Facebook isn’t asking for your Aadhaar number, but just the name as per your Aadhaar card.
The association with Aadhaar, however, is expected to raise eyebrows. There have been concerns about the safety of Aadhaar data after private details of citizens were leaked on government websites and from private bodies like banks, telecom operators, insurance providers and financial organisations.
According to a government reply in Parliament in June 2017, more than 200 government websites published names of beneficiaries of welfare schemes with their addresses and Aadhaar numbers.
The government has argued that Aaadhar is necessary to plug leakages in its subsidised welfare programmes, to prevent corruption, and to protect national security.