Google removes alleged spying app ToTok from the Play Store for a second time

Google has eliminated the chat app ToTok, which is allegedly an espionage device for the United Arab Emirates, from the Play Retailer for a second time. The app was beforehand pulled from Apple’s App Retailer and the Google Play Retailer in December, shortly earlier than The New York Times published a report about it. Google quietly reinstated the app in January. The app seems to have remained unavailable on the App Retailer.

9to5Google noted the news of ToTok’s takedown earlier at this time. When reached for remark, Google confirmed to The Verge that it took down the app, however didn’t present any rationalization as to why. It eliminated ToTok the primary time for violating unspecified insurance policies, in response to the Instances.

ToTok is a messaging app that promised “quick, free, and safe” messages and calls and was downloaded by hundreds of thousands within the UAE and elsewhere within the Center East. Shortly earlier than its elimination from the Play Retailer and App Retailer in December, the app was one of many most-downloaded social apps within the US. However the NYT’s investigation discovered that the app allowed the UAE authorities to spy on customers.

ToTok denied the “vicious rumors” in a statement printed in December, saying that “[n]ot solely can we respect privateness and guarantee safety, our customers even have the entire management over what information they need to share at their very own discretion.”

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