Popular Chat app ToTok is reportedly a spy tool deployed by the United Arab Emirates government. The chat app, according to a report from the New York Times, is a tool created by the government to be able to help intelligence officials track citizens movements along with messages.
The report reveals that by sharing messages, pictures and videos, and even location data, this information is directly shared with Emirati intelligence.
The Times noted that the Breej Holding, a company that runs the app is most likely to be a face of DarkMatter, an Abu Dhabi-based cybersecurity firm.
You may not be familiar with ToTok, but the chat app is very popular in the UAE. The chat app is also a popular messaging app for users across the Middle East and beyond – even in the US. For comparison, ToTok has been one of the most downloaded social chat apps in the US last week.
Under authoritarian governments like the UAE, this is a new development in the field of spying.
The UAE has blocked western chat apps like WhatsApp and even Skype and instead, offering their own “fast, free, and secure” messaging app that is leveraged by intelligence officials to spy on its citizens.
The report also details that the app is connected to UAE data-mining firm, Pax AI, which allegedly shares offices with the Emirates’ signals intelligence agency.
The app has already been yanked out of the Play Store and Apple Store. If you have it installed on your smartphone, get it out of your phone ASAP!
The mentioned firms have not yet commented on the matter yet, as per the time of writing.