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Google expels declared spying application ToTok from the Play Store for a second time

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Google has removed the chat application ToTok, which is purportedly an espionage tool for the United Arab Emirates, from the Play Store for a second time. The application was previously pulled from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store in December, in a matter of seconds before The New York Times published a report about it. Google unobtrusively reinstated the application in January. The application seems to have stayed inaccessible on the App Store.

9to5Google noticed the updates on ToTok’s takedown prior today. When gone after comment, Google affirmed to The Verge that it took down the application, yet didn’t give any clarification about why. It removed ToTok the first time for violating unspecified policies, as per the Times.

ToTok is a messaging application that guaranteed “fast, free, and secure” messages and calls and was downloaded by millions in the UAE and somewhere else in the Middle East. Shortly before its expulsion from the Play Store and App Store in December, the application was one of the most-downloaded social applications in the US. In any case, the NYT’s investigation found that the application permitted the UAE government to spy on clients.

ToTok denied the “vicious rumors” in an announcement published in December, saying that “[n]ot only do we respect privacy and ensure security, our users also have the complete control over what data they want to share at their own discretion.”

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