Tech giant and Android founder, Google took responsibility for a coding flaw that caused a defunct Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) helpline number. The number of UIDAI shows wrongly in the contact lists of some mobile phone users.
Google stated that it was at their end that the then helpline number – 1800-300-1947 – was coded into device back in 2014 and remained there since.
A statement from Google said, “Our internal review has revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since. Since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list these get transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.
The statement said Google will work towards fixing this in an “upcoming release of SetUp wizard which will be made available to OEMs over the next few weeks.”
Apologising for “any concern that this might have caused”, the statement from a Google spokesperson said it “would like to assure everyone that this is not a situation of an unauthorized access of their Android devices. Users can manually delete the number from their devices”.
The authority behind Aadhaar had said, “UIDAI has reiterated that it has not asked or advised anyone including any telecom service providers or mobile manufacturers or Android to include 1800-300-1947 or 1947 in the default list of public service numbers”.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) denied any role in the matter by its associated telcos while responding to an emailed query. “The inclusion of a certain unknown number in the phonebooks of various mobile handsets is not from any telecom service provider,” COAI had said.