Tags: Middle East | google | apple | uae | spy | tool | app

Google, Apple Remove Alleged UAE Spy App from Online Stores

a man in a traditional white tunic looks at his phone at an airport in uae
A man looks at his mobile phone at Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.(Patrick Castillo/Emarat Al Youm via AP, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 December 2019 06:00 PM

Google and Apple have removed an alleged spy app from their online stores following a New York Times report stating the United Arab Emirates government was using it as a surveillance tool capable of monitoring every conversation, movement, appointment, relationship, sound and image of its users.

The ToTok app has been downloaded by users all over the world, including the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States, according to the Times. The firm behind ToTok, Breej Holding, is likely affiliated with DarkMatter, an Abu Dhabi-based hacking and intelligence firm employing Emirati intelligence officials allegedly and being investigated by the FBI for possible cybercrimes.

ToTok was pitched as a secure way to chat by text or video.  

"We take reports of security and privacy violations seriously," a Google spokesperson told The Hill in an email. "If we find behavior that violates our policies, we take action."

In a blog, ToTok said it was attempting to address the issue and promised to be back “in the near future.”

"While the existing ToTok users continue to enjoy our service without interruption, we would like to inform our new users that we are well engaged with Google and Apple to address the issue," ToTok said.

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Google and Apple have removed an alleged spy app from their online stores following a New York Times report stating the United Arab Emirates government was using it as a surveillance tool capable of monitoring every conversation, movement, appointment, relationship, sound...
google, apple, uae, spy, tool, app
203
2019-00-25
Wednesday, 25 December 2019 06:00 PM
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