Google pulls alleged Emirati spyware app — ToTok — from the Play Store
What you need to know
- Google has pulled ToTok, a popular Emirati messaging app, from the Play Store.
- The app was accused of really being Emirati state spyware in late December.
- It was previously pulled from the Play Store and App Store before being temporarily reinstated in the former.
Google (as confirmed via The Verge) has once again pulled Emirati instant messaging app, ToTok from the Play Store. The app and associated service were the subjects of a New York Times exposé in December 2019, revealing the app to be spyware aimed at vacuuming up data from an installed phone.
As per the New York Times' report:
Subsequently, it was pulled from both the App Store and the Play Store, likely to protect customers. While Google ended up restoring it temporarily, Apple never did.
ToTok's founder, Giacomo Ziani, denied the accusations at the time, condemning them as baseless and appealing to Apple and Google to restore the app to their users:
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