Facebook is now testing Aadhaar prompts for new users in India

29 December, 2017, 02:36 | Author: Elena Summers
  • The report mentions that the Aadhaar prompt isn’t pushed to everyone who registers for a Facebook account. Also the prompt is only encountered when creating a new account from the Safari web browser on iOS devices

Labelling it as a "test", Facebook claims that the mention of "Aadhaar" in the sign-up process was part of a test ran "with a small number of users in India".

We aren't sure of the end game yet but this sure is a positive move from Facebook to tackle fake information on the social media network.

This is what Facebook's test looked like, compared to its usual sign up page.

According to a screenshot posted on Reddit, Facebook is asking users to fill the First and Last name, which should similar to one present on one's Aadhaar card.

Facebook India has started prompting users to provide their Aadhaar details to create a new account on its platform. "This is an optional prompt which we are testing, people are not required to enter the name on their Aadhaar card". So my guess is by using the term the name as per your Aadhaar card, Facebook is trying to emphasise that is what it means by real name.

Image MySmartPrice
Image MySmartPrice

Since it's being tested with a small population in India, not all users may be able to see this.

It is noteworthy that Facebook is not asking for Aadhaar number, but just the name as per Aadhaar card.

The irony of Facebook considering its userbase incapable of entering their own names without referring to their Aadhaar cards notwithstanding, the blog post still doesn't explain the sudden change in Facebook's official lexicon in the context of ID verification. There have been concerns about the safety of Aadhaar data after private details of users were leaked from government websites and even from private organisations including banks, telecom operators and financial institutions. Then again, Facebook isn't exactly known for just winging it, so there's a possibility that this could be a portent of tighter Aadhaar integration with the social networking portal.

India is now one of the fastest growing markets for Facebook - in addition to being the second-largest market after the US. But the attempt of using Aadhaar - which is now embroiled in its own privacy controversies - as an example to enhance real name usage on Facebook makes it stand out.

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