US officials, along with the New York Times team, published an analysis of ToTok's investigation into its user data collection. According to what was said in the report, the app is considered a spying tool used by the UAE rulers.
How the app collects data
By allowing users to let ToTok access camera, microphone, photos, location, calendar and contacts, the app is able to monitor each individual's step through their freely accessible devices.
Messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Skype are blocked in the UAE. For this reason, the release of ToTok – which allows easy communication with low investment – was received with great appreciation.
With concessions given spontaneously by users, the app was able to legally oversee citizens as access was granted.
The United Arab Emirates is known for its policy of monitoring government criticism, with continuous monitoring even on social networks. As punitive measures, the Human Rights Watch 2019 World Report lists arbitrary detention and forcible disappearance, reinforcing government control over the people.
(Source: Android Police / Playback)
The official blog of the app did not speak directly about the accusations made, only reported that TiTok was temporarily unavailable in two stores – Google and Apple, but users who already have the app will not be affected, the post says.
In the publication, it is still emphasized that the application is present in “hundreds of countries” and has high security standards. It can still be downloaded from the Samsung, Hwawei, Xiami, and Oppo app stores, and some may download it directly from the site.
"Uninstall it immediately" is the advice of the investigative body.
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