This app is secretly spying on you

Messaging service ToTok was recently removed from the Google Playstore and the Apple AppStore because of accusations of government surveillance.

The messaging app was accused of being used as a spy tool for the government of the United Arab Emirates, according to the New York Times.

A relatively new app

Even though the app was only a few months old, it has seen a huge rise in popularity because many people from the Middle East have installed it. Reports show that the app was used even in other continents, like Europe, Africa and North America.

The report from the New York Times says that American officials have accused the app of giving away information of the user (like their location) to government officials, alongside conversation, movements and in some cases even pictures from the user’s device.

The developer’s answer

An official  blog post from ToTok’s developers reads that their app will become “temporarily unavailable”, not due to the aforementioned accusations, but because of some “technical issues”.

“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,” they added.

The company mentioned that any new users of Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei or Oppo devices can install the ToTok app from the app store of their phone manufacturer. The rest of the Android users can install the ToTok from the official site at the moment, until it becomes available again on the more conventional platforms. 

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