Messaging app ToTok has been removed from the Apple and Google app stores following claims the United Arab Emirates government was using it to spy on people
- US officials have discovered that ToTok is being used to spy on people
- Sources claim the United Arab Emirates government is tracking users
- They are also listening to their conversations and watching their videos
- Both Apple and Google have removed the app from their app stores last week
Apple and Google have removed ToTok from their app stores after US officials found it was being used by the United Arab Emirates government to spy on people.
Sources claim the foreign government is using the messaging app to track conversations, movement, relationships and appointments of those who installed it on their phones.
The app was used to spy on primarily on foreign adversaries, criminal and terrorist networks, journalists and critics.
ToTok has been adopted mostly by Emirates because other apps, like WhatsApp and Skype, are banned, but it has since grown popular in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.
Apple and Google have removed ToTok from their app stores after US officials found it was being employed by the United Arab Emirates government to spy on users
ToTok is a messaging app that provides a secure way to video and text chat.
It was unclear when American intelligence services first determined that ToTok was a tool of Emirati intelligence, but one person familiar with the assessment said that American officials have warned some allies about its dangers, according to the New York Times.
One digital security expert in the Middle East, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss powerful hacking tools, said that senior Emirati officials told him that ToTok was indeed an app developed to track its users in the Emirates and beyond.
Google removed the app from its store last Thursday and Apple followed in suit this past Friday.
The foreign government is said to be using the messaging app to track conversations, movement, relationships and appointments of those who installed it on their phones
However, users can still use the app until they personally delete it from their own phones – and experts are urging users to delete it.
DailyMail.com has reached out to ToTok for comment and has yet to receive a response.
Although most of the app’s members reside in the Emirates, downloads in the US spiked last week- and it was available for download in both the Apple and Google app stores.
ToTok tracks users’ location by providing them with an accurate weather forecast, in which they have to allow the app to use their location in order to get.
And it will ‘hunt’ for new contacts by suggesting people for its members to follow –similar to how Instagram highlights Facebook friends for you to follow.
ToTok also has access to users’ microphones, cameras, calendar and other phone data and its name is an apparent play on the popular Chinese app TikTok.
Although the app states it is ‘fast and secure’ it does not verify that it has end-to-end encryption like WhatsApp or Skype.