Is ToTok a spying tool? Here's a statement from the app

Is ToTok a spying tool? Here's a statement from the app
Is ToTok a spying tool? Here's a statement from the app

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The app disappeared from the Apple and Android app stores a few days ago.

The founders of ToTok, a video calling app popular with residents in the UAE, on Tuesday issued a statement, denying claims that the app tracks users "personal appointments" or that it is a "spy tool built by the Israeli intel officers".

"Here is the fact - since day one, we have built ToTok with user security and privacy as our priority," the note, signed by Giac and Long, ToTok cofounders, said.

Thousands of UAE residents were disappointed when the app disappeared from the Apple and Android online marketplaces, even though those who already have the app installed on their devices can still use it. The app can also be downloaded directly from the company's official website, as well as the app stores of phone makers Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo, the company said in an earlier statement.

Yesterday, Apple told news agency AFP that ToTok was removed from its App Store pending a review, while Google said it was taken down from the Play Store "for a policy issue", France24 said in a report (detailed report).

Here's the complete statement by the cofounders:

Dear ToTok Community,

Since yesterday, we have witnessed more vicious rumors taking aim at ToTok, from the absurd suggestion that we track the personal appointments of our users, to the deranged claim that our app is a spy tool built by the Israeli intel officers.

In this holiday season of joy and celebration, we would have preferred not to dignify those who manufacture lies with a direct response. But as ToTok cofounders, we are personally compelled to speak up for ourselves and for our users.

Since the day we founded ToTok, all our efforts have been focused on the development of a great product. We are blessed with the wonderful support from our users, and our community has been growing fast and strong. We have ignored all noises and kept our heads down to do what we do best - working for the millions of users who trust us.

However, our distractors continue to spread misinformation and stir up the "spying" allegations, to vilify our work, to jeopardize our business, even to insult our users by mocking their enthusiastic appreciation of ToTok.

Here is the fact - since day one, we have built ToTok with user security and privacy as our priority.

Don't just take our word for it. A technical analysis by a former NSA employee has concluded ToTok "simply does what it claims to do, and really nothing more... no exploits, no backdoors, and no malware".

Here is the irony - this technical analysis was actually requested by the same people who initiated the defamation of ToTok.

Not only do we respect privacy and ensure security, our users also have the complete control over what data they want to share at their own discretion. The shameless fabrication by our distractors cannot be further from the truth.

Our openness, honesty and transparency are the reasons why ToTok has such a vibrant and loyal user community globally. It is for the same reasons that we are confident Google and Apple will reinstate our app, so the hundreds of thousands of new users who have been waiting will finally be able to join all of us in the ToTok community.

The value of our ToTok company is diametrically opposed to those who promote fear and hatred. While our distractors are bent to divide people, ToTok is determined to break down barriers.

We cannot wait to connect more people around the world and bring everyone many exciting new features that we are working on.

Thank you for your continued support and Happy Holidays!

Giac and Long

ToTok Cofounders

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