Alleged UAE spying app ToTok is back up on the Google Play Store

But there aren't really any new details about the case.


ToTok, the messenger app accused of spying for the United Arab Emirates, is back on the Google Play Store. The move comes just a week after one of ToTok’s co-creators, Giacomo Ziani, released a video pleading for the app to be reinstated in both the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. ToTok is available for download on the Play Store as of now — though it is still unavailable on the App Store.

Investigations are ongoing — Apple is still in the process of investigating ToTok’s possible links to spying, and no official charges have been brought up against the company. Google obviously investigated the case in some form, seeing as the app is available for download on the Play Store.

But if you’re looking for closure on the mysterious case of ToTok (which is still not TikTok), you’ll have to wait a while longer.

A quiet re-upload — Google has declined to comment on why the app was reinstated in the Play Store. A spokesperson from the company declined to say any more than: “We take reports of security and privacy violations seriously. If we find behavior that violates our policies, we take action.”

A messaging app like any other? — And according to a technical analysis conducted in conjunction with The New York Times, the app itself reveals no coding secrets, either. The app asks users for access to contacts, call history, and messages — just like any other messaging app would. The NYT suggests that, despite this analysis, the app is sending data to hacking company DarkMatter.