Shortly after ToTok faced accusation that the popular messaging app is a UAE spy tool, Play Store and App Store removed the app from the respective stores. Interestingly, Google has now allowed ToTok back in the Play Store after two-week absence.
In case you are wondering, earlier last month, the New York Times cited United States intelligence officials who claimed that ToTok was a surveillance tool that can track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound, and image of its users. It shares the information with the United Arab Emirates government.
This accusation wasn’t surprising considering the app became extremely popular in the Middle East following the app’s launch few months earlier. Moreover, the app became the most downloaded social app in the United States for a while. However, security experts’ analysis suggested that Breej Holdings, the company behind the app, is affiliated with DarkMatter, an Abu Dhabi-based cyberintelligence and hacking firm that reports directly to the government.
Both Apple and Google removed the app from their respective stores shortly before the report. However, Google has decided to allow the app back to the Play Store. However, when Verge requested Google for comments, the search engine giant didn’t comment on the removal and subsequent reappearance of the app from the Play Store.