Google and Apple have removed allegedly UAE’s spying app ToTok. Due to the claims about the app being used for state spying, Google and Apple have removed it.
ToTok is basically easy and claimed to be a secure app for video and text chat. But according to the report by The New York Times (NYT), the app is used by the United Arab Emirates government as a spy tool.
ToTok said that it will be soon back on the App stores. In a blog post, the app said that it is ‘temporarily unavailable’ on the Apple App stores and the Google Play store due to a “technical issue”.
NYT cited American officials as sources to reveal that ToTok has given UAE spies access to citizen conversations, movements and personal information including messages, pictures.
The app was removed by Google last Thursday and Apple removed it the following day. But those ToTok users who have already downloaded the app can continue using it without any hindrance.
The app is not quite old, however, it already has 5 million Android downloads before it was removed. According to the app-tracker App Annie, ToTok is the most downloaded social app in the US last week.
As per the NYT reports, the publisher of the app Breej Holding Ltd is affiliated with DarkMatter. DarkMatter is an Abu Dhabi-based intelligence and hacking firm. The app is allegedly being investigated by the FBI for cyber-crimes.
However, ToTok, DarkMatter, and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in London did not give any response to a request to comment.
ToTok in a blog said, “While the existing ToTok users continue to enjoy our service without interruption, we would like to inform our new users that we are well engaged with Google and Apple to address the issue.”