Google removes ToTok app, a famous messenger app, saying it was used for mass surveillance by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government for a second time. The ToTok app previously pilled from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store in December.
The ToTok allegedly used by the country to track every conversation, appointment, movement, relationship, sound, and image of those who install it on their phones, reported by 9to5Google on Friday.
This Google app functions like Signal or Telegram has been downloaded millions of times on Android and iOS devices in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America, according to US officials familiar with the classified intelligence report.
According to user rankings and research firm App Annie, ToTok became one of the most downloaded social apps in the US last week.
An investigation by NYT found that the firm behind the ToTok messenger app is known as Breej Holding which is a front firm affiliated with DarkMatter, a Abu Dhabi-based cyber-intelligence and hacking firm.
DarkMatter already being investigated by the FBI for possible cyber-crimes.
Earlier, the probe also linked ToTok to Pax AI, an Abu Dhabi-based data-mining firm that appears to be tied to DarkMatter. Users can check here for the latest technology news and updates around the world.