UIDAI number: Despite Google assurance, mobile users throng service centres for virus scans
Many mobile phone users continue to approach service centres in Dehradun to get their device checked for virusesUpdated: Aug 04, 2018 22:29 IST
Despite Google’s assurance to soon rectify the fault due to which a now defunct helpline number of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was automatically saved to the contact list of a large number of Android mobile phones, many of the phone users are still rushing to the mobile service centres in Dehradun to get their phones checked for viruses.
On Friday, many Android mobile phone users were in a surprise to find 1800-300-1947, a defunct UIDAI helpline number, saved to the contact list of their mobile phones under the name UIDAI. Later, the UIDAI in a statement denied any role in the development and clarified that it was their defunct helpline number. The telecom operators too denied any role in the episode.
However, on Friday night, Google, which owns the Android platform, accepted it as a fault on their part saying that the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android. They assured that the glitch would be solved in the next few weeks and is not an “unauthorized access to users’ mobile phones”. They asked the users to manually delete the contact.
However, worried that their “mobile phones may be on surveillance” many users continue to make a rush to the mobile service centres in Dehradun to get their phones checked for viruses.
“After reading the media reports on the development, I immediately checked my Android based mobile phone and found the UIDAI number saved in it. I was shocked as I never saved it,” said 27-year-old Rishabh Verma, who immediately rushed for a virus scan of his mobile phone. “It is really worrisome as it signifies the level of access these people can have in our mobile devices,” he added.
Pawan Chamyal, 52, who also found the number saved in his mobile phone, said, “I am not so tech-savvy, but found the number saved in my contact list when my daughter checked my mobile. At present, when there are already security issues around Aadhaar, these type of things worry, as today mobile phones have many sensitive and confidential data of the user.” Chamyal rebooted his mobile phone.
Speaking on the issue, cyber expert Hemraj Singh Chauhan said the development is an eye-opener on the level of access developers like Google can have to the personal data of mobile phone users.
“It is not just a matter of simple contact getting saved to mobile phones, but the kind of access the developer can have on their will. It has access to almost all the data of the mobil phone stored in it. Some of the users add to this danger by installing many suspicious applications which demands access to personal data,” said Chauhan.
“One should always have strong updated anti-virus in their mobile phones and restrain themselves from installing unverified applications,” he added.
Senior superintendent of police, Special Task Force, Ridhim Aggarwal, who also looks after the state cyber crime cell, said, “The public need not panic, as it is not a malware. They can just delete it manually and be assured that there is no surveillance of their mobile phones by anyone.”