Google has confirmed that the popular messaging app ToTok, which is actually a spying tool used by the United Arab Emirates to track the activities of those who download it, has again been removed from the Play Store. But this time they declined to comment as to why. TechCrunch reports: Reached for comment, Google confirmed to TechCrunch that it removed the app from Google Play. In addition, Google noted the enforcement was not done in response to any external direction or request. That means the U.S. government did not get involved here, rather that Google chose to remove the app itself -- likely for a policy violation. According to The NYT's original report, ToTok had been downloaded millions of times from both Apple and Google's app stores by customers across the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and North America in the few months since its launch. Citing unnamed U.S. intelligence sources, the report claimed the app had been used to track its users' "every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound, and image." At the time of the app's removal, Google said the app had violated unspecified Google Play policies. The app had over 10 million installs by then, app intelligence firm Sensor Tower says. In January, ToTok's website announced the app was again available for download. The updated version submitted to Google Play included a new dialog that requested authorization to access and sync users' contact list, Vice reported. Oddly, this updated version of ToTok never ranked on Google Play's charts again.
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