The popular ToTok messaging application has been removed from the Google Play Store … again. Google removed the application starting Friday afternoon after resetting it in January.
It was originally launched in July and took off quite quickly in the United Arab Emirates. With messaging applications like WhatsApp and Skype blocked in the Middle East country, ToTok seemed the next best option. Finally, it even became popular worldwide.
But only a few months later it was removed from both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.
Play Store said the removal occurred because ToTok violated its policies. But there were no more details than that.
When it was published
An investigation of New York Times After elimination, everything started to make a little more sense. The report claimed that ToTok was collecting all kinds of information about the activity of its users, including conversations and locations.
As with most messaging applications, ToTok asked its users to grant the application access to the camera, photos, microphone, location, calendar and phone contacts.
This supposedly allowed both ToTok developers and the UAE intelligence agency to use it as a complete surveillance tool.
He addressed concerns in a blog post by stating that his removal from the Apple and Google application stores was due to a "technical problem" and that they were working with both companies to solve the problem.
But nothing was mentioned in terms of espionage. Instead, the publication made sure to emphasize its “Tens of millions of users in hundreds of countries”, thousands of positive reviews and "High security standards".
It was working again in the Google Play Store in early January. And since then, it seems that things have been fairly quiet in terms of new investigations or accusations about the application.
So, Why the sudden (and silent) removal of Play Store once again? It is not clear. We contact Google for comments and will update this story if we receive a response.