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Facebook ends its 'Aadhaar prompt' sign-up in India after backlash

29 December 2017, 02:34 | Patty Hardy

Facebook may soon ask you to link your account with your Aadhaar Card

Though FB clarified that this was a small test to encourage people to give their real identity and that it was not mandatory the move raises questions about the privacy of social media users

The test, limited to only mobile sites of the platform, prompted new users to use "name as per Aadhaar card" to make it "easier for friends to recognise you".

The move is aimed at encouraging users to put their real names on the social network, Hindustan Times reported.

On whether Facebook plans to integrate registration of new and old users with their Aadhaar cards, sources in the company said, "This was a small test". Fortunately, that is not what's happening here.

The report goes on adding that the Aadhaar prompt is not visible for everyone who registers for a new account on Facebook. Facebook says this is a new feature and only a few of the users would see this, as per reports. However, using your original name not only makes it easy for your friends to discover you, but also curb the spread of fake accounts.

In some countries, Facebook also advises users to take a picture using front camera to activate facial recognition mode.

The controversy has started when Facebook began testing using of Aadhaar for instance to support new clients in India to advance their genuine names while joining.

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It is noteworthy that using the same name as on Aadhaar card is an optional features and not compulsory.

On Thursday, the US-based social media platform issued a statement in which it termed the new process of the registration as "test" and announced that it has no plans to continue it further. Facebook now has no such plans to pan out this feature to more users.

Experts highlighted privacy risks of sharing Aadhaar information. Earlier, an online retailer had asked customers to upload their Aadhaar numbers to track lost packages.

More so, whether users in other countries are similarly prompted to use their real names with specific reference to relevant government IDs in the region or in the future will be, is not clear which raises questions on why this move in India alone.

Having said that, we need to wait for an official confirmation from Facebook regarding the Aadhaar card linking with the social media accounts.

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