Google has removed the alleged spying app ToTok from its Play Store once again. It is claimed to be used for spying by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government for mass surveillance.
ToTok was allegedly used by the country to “track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound, and image of those who install it on their phones.”
For reference, according to research firm App Annie and app rankings, ToTok surged to become one of the most downloaded social apps in the US last week.
An investigation by NYT found that the firm behind ToTok, Breej Holding, is a front firm affiliated with DarkMatter, which is already under an FBI investigation for possible cybercrimes. It is an Abu Dhabi-based cyberintelligence and hacking firm.
ToTok was also pulled from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store in December. The application returned to the Play Store on January 4. However, Google did not explain why it was let back in.