If you’ve been using ToTok on any of your devices, you should consider uninstalling it immediately. The new messaging platform that was one of the most downloaded apps last week was swiftly removed from the Google Play Store (and Apple’s App Store) before the end of Friday. The abrupt decision came after American officials declared the service was actually spyware backed by the United Arab Emirates government.
According to researchers, ToTok’s messaging business model is a facade designed to document extremely personal information about its users, including conversations, movements, relationships, appointments, sounds, and photos. Before the app was removed from online stores, it had received millions of downloads from smartphone owners living in North America, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Computer experts believe that the app developer behind ToTok, Breej Holding, is closely associated with DarkMatter, a cyber intelligence and hacking agency based in Abu Dhabi that isalready under investigation by the FBI.
Although the ToTok app has been removed from the two largest application stores on the planet, the app itself has not been shut down. Users that already have ToTok installed on their phones can continue to use the app for the foreseeable future. However, ToTok will no longer receive app updates through the Play Store, not that it matters. Being that the app is likely a tool used to collect personal data, you may want to consider removing ToTok from your device altogether.
The makers ofToTok released a statement today, acknowledging these allegations but doing nothing to refute the claims made against it . The developer believes its absence from app stores is a temporary obstacle “due to technical issues,” and it is working with Google and Apple to address concerns in hopes that ToTok will be available for download again soon. You can read the entire statement at the link below.