Sat. Jul 11th, 2020

UAE social app ToTok marks as a spy tool

1 min read

Similar to WhatsApp and Skype, ToTok which is a user-to-user messaging app in the UAE, claims to be designed to connect with anyone. However, US officials have found the purpose of the app to be evil. The government of the United Arab Emirates has been using the messaging app called ToTok to track users. This includes, but is not limited to, data mining text conversations, collecting physical locations through location services, and recording audio while the device is in use.

The appeal of ToTok being a popular app is that it works well in countries that restrict other more popular messaging services, such as the United Arab Emirates. In Middle Eastern countries, many citizens are unable to use popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp.

ToTok is available for Android and iOS devices and has become increasingly popular in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, and recently in North America. Both Apple and Google have removed the app from their app stores after discovering a security risk. Users who previously downloaded ToTok can still use the app until they manually delete it from their phone.

According to the New York Times, it is unclear when intelligence officials determined that ToTok had operations to track users and mine data. A person familiar with the matter said U.S. officials have internally warned some allies about the dangers of running ToTok.