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Google Removes Messaging App ToTok From The Play Store For A Second Time



Google Removes Messaging App ToTok From The Play Store For A Second Time

Google has removed popular messaging app ToTok from its Play Store amid claims that it is an espionage tool for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The app was previously removed from Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store in December. 9to5Google reported that the app was allegedly used by the country to track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound and image of those who install it in their smartphones.

ToTok is an app promising “fast, free and secure” message and calls. According to the US officials familiar with the classified intelligence assessment, the app that works like Signal or Telegram was downloaded millions of times on Android as well as iOS devices in East Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. The app’s popularity surged to become one of the most downloaded social apps in the US last week, according to app rankings and research firm App Annie.

Google has confirmed that it took down the app but didn’t provide any explanation as to why. Earlier after removal, Google quietly reinstated the app in January. An investigation by NYT found that the firm behind ToTok is known as Breej Holding, a front firm affiliated with Dark Matter, an Abu-Dhabi based cyber intelligence and hacking firm. It is already under an FBI investigation for possible cybercrimes.

ToTok on its behalf denied the “vicious” rumors in a statement published last year saying that “not only do we respect privacy and ensure security, our users also have the complete control over what data they want to share at their own discretion.”

Ben is a digital entrepreneur and founder of He is a technology passionate who loves sharing his ideas on smartphones and gadgets. He looks forward to imparting the spectrum of his insight and verdicts on the ‘Technology-driven world’ of today. He plans to take OntechEdge forward with the consistent support from you readers, friends and family! Ben Kemp is also author of the book "How To Tell a Story On Social Media in 2020". Direct email address: [email protected]

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