Google kicks ToTok app out from Play Store for spying again…

[German]I just came across the news that Google has kicked the Android app ToTok (a chat program) out of the Google Play Store again because of spying features. There was something in December 2019, which I had reported about at that time.


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Short review

The chat app ToTok, available on Apple and Android devices, has probably spied out millions of users on their mobile devices. The app was written by developers from the United Arab Emirates (BAE), and fished out all the information it could get. Apple and Google threw the app out of the store. I had the case detailed on December 23, 2019 in the German blog post ToTok: Chat-App spähte Nutzer aus.

Into the store, out of the store

Apparently something got a Google person to put the app back into the Play Store for Android at a later date, after the dust had settled.

Now I read in the above tweet from Techcrunch that Google has thrown the app ToTok out of the Play Store a second time. At first 9to5google.com noticed that the app disappeared again. Techcrunch asked and Google confirmed that they removed the app – but not the developer of the app – from Google Play. Google made it clear that this action was not in response to an external instruction or request – i.e. intervention by the US government or any other agency. The decision was made internally.


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