NEW DELHI: Facebook has asked its new users to use their Aadhaar name for opening an account. A Facebook spokersperson told TOI , “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.”
Twitter user @digitaldutta on Tuesday posted screenshots of the new sign up message carrying a reference to Aadhaar in multiple languages. “Just what you need @facebook wants you to enter your name as exactly in your #Aadhaar card,” he had tweeted.
Facebook declined to answer queries regarding the possibility of Aadhaar linkage in the future, and whether users in other countries are similarly prompted to use their real names with specific reference to relevant government IDs in the region. However, sources in the company said a small percentage of Indian users who are signing up for the service on mobile can see this message for now.
In 2016, then managing director of Facebook in India, Umang Bedi, had told TOI that Aadhaar may present “interesting use cases” in the future. “…if a person has an identity on Facebook and has the ability to hook on to a third-party framework for payments, it really is a seamless transition. Today banks are allowing you to authenticate with an Aadhaar digital identity instead of an ATM pin. That is a use case of Aadhaar to remove cash. Aadhaar is just a secure identity. It’s not linked. Facebook is a real identity of people. But over time there could be interesting use cases that emerge,” Bedi had then told TOI. He has since left the company .