ToTok co-founder has dismissed reports of the app being a spying tool. In a recently released Twitter video, the co-developer who referred to himself only as Giac, mentioned that the controversy was hurting the startup’s image. Also Read - Popular chat app ToTok is secret spying tool of UAE government: Report
Giac stated that ToTok, the newly released app, was designed to make “people’s digital life easier”. Further, he even tagged Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google boss Sundar Pichai. He went on to appeal that his app be put back on the shelves of the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. ToTok was removed from both platforms after the spying allegations had spread.
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“Since its launch, [people have loved] ToTok’s quality and ease of use. And we quickly became one of the most downloaded apps worldwide,” said Giac. ToTok was a boon in countries where services like Skype were blocked. This includes the United Arab Emirates where users welcomed ToTok as a free video calling option in the UAE.
The app’s free nature was however, questioned by many. This was because unlike pretty much every alternative, ToTok didn’t use any ads or require a paid subscription. This is likely to have given rise to suspicions about the app making money in other ways. Check out Giac’s video here.
The app was suddenly taken off the Google Play Store one day. Further, articles on how the app could have been used to spy on users in the UAE started to surface. “All of a sudden, [unfounded] rumours started to spread and as a small startup, we were certainly not ready for such publicity,” said Giac in the video.
Will you ever be able to use ToTok again?
The co-founder went on to state that privacy and data protection has always been the company’s top priority. He also mentions inviting representatives from Google and Apple to meet the ToTok team personally to resolve the issue. However, the app is still not available on the stores just yet. The service is still usable on Android devices with an APK available for download on the official website.