Aadhaar for Facebook? Here’s what you need to know

New Delhi: Facebook has begun testing a feature with a set of new users in India where they are being asked to enter names as per their Aadhaar details.

The social media giant has, however, asserted it has no plans of “integration or authentication with Aadhaar” and is not linking the social media accounts to the 12-digit biometric identifier.

“We are not collecting Aadhaar data and do not require people to enter their Aadhaar name when they sign up to Facebook,” it noted in a blogpost.

Facebook said the goal of the test was to help new users understand how to sign up to Facebook with their real name and connect with their friends and family.

The move by Facebook is being seen as part of the company’s efforts to check the increasing number of fake accounts on the platform. Facebook, however, did not comment on that.

It explained that at the point of account sign-up, users — who were part of the test — saw language that said “using the name on your Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognise you”.

“This is an optional prompt that we were testing. People were not required to enter the name on their Aadhaar card, and there is no integration or authentication with Aadhaar,” Facebook added.

The US-based company said the test ran with a small number of users in India and has now concluded.

“…We currently have no plans to roll this test out further,” it added.

Currently, only a small percentage of people who use Facebook on mobile in the country are able to see this feature.

The move is aimed at encouraging users to put their real names as they enter the social network for the first time.

Facebook has over 217 million monthly active users in India and 212 million of them are active on smartphones.

It has 2.1 billion monthly active users globally.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India.

The Facebook test comes at a time when the government is asking citizens to link Aadhaar details with their digital lives.

The government recently extended till March 31, 2018, the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN, mobile numbers and several other schemes.