Apple removed the ToTok application used by the UAE government to spy on

Apple removed the popular ToTok chat app from the App Store after the New York Times released information from US newsletters who believe the app is actually a spy tool. The New York Times participated in the investigation together with the US intelligence agency. The app, which was rated 4.7 / 5 on the App Store and rated by more than 5,300 users, was particularly popular in Arab countries. The application enabled both text and video and audio calls for free. According to an article in the prestigious New York Times, the UAE tracked its citizens to gain access to the user list when a user allowed the app to access their contacts.

However, the whole thing went even further, thanks to the localized weather forecast function, which required the application to have access to location services. However, once you have granted this access, the Government of the United Arab Emirates has received information not only about your contacts but also about your exact location. ToTok's privacy policy states that the app may share data with other companies that are ToToku subsidiaries and otherwise close to the company. The problem is that these companies include a company called DarkMatter based in Abu Dhabi, which the FBI is investigating for cyber crimes. US intelligence also found a link between ToTok and Pax AI, which is linked to data acquisition in Abu Dhabi.

At a time when the app was in the App Store and Google Play, it was used by millions of users, mainly from the Middle East, North America, and Europe. The application was particularly popular in the UAE, where it became the market leader after the government began blocking applications such as WhatsApp and Skype. If you’re still using the app, you have to recommend uninstalling it from your phone as soon as possible if you don’t want to share your data with the UAE government. App no ​​longer available in the App Store. Apple removed it from its store just hours after the New York Times published the article. In addition, this is not the first time that some governments use an application or online service to obtain data about their citizens.

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