Are you a ToTok user? Did you get a warning message from your app provider suggesting you should un-install the app?
You’re not alone.
UAE users are reporting ‘harmful message’ updates from Google Play Store along with a warning declaring the app is trying to spy on you.
In response to this, today the ToTok founders issued a lengthy letter, declaring the app’s innocense, and state the removal, ‘speak clearly about the lack of impartiality and fairness of Apple and Google towards the developer community.’
Google Play Store alert: “This app tries to spy on your personal data, such as SMS messages, photos, audio recordings, or call history”
ToTok is a free video and calling app that’s so popular, it’s spawned numerous copy-cat apps
The app is now unavailable on both Apple Store and Play Store
This was the same app that made headlines in December after international publications declared it was being used as a spy tool, which the app creators at the time publicly and vigorously denied.
On Thursday, the app’s founders responded with a personal letter to ToTok users
Feb 20, 2020Dear ToTok Community,
“With reference to the recent removal of ToTok from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, we, the ToTok co-founders, want to express our deepest concern and disappointment for yet another attack perpetrated against our company by those who hold a dominant position in this market.
First of all, we want to inform all our new users with Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo phones, that ToTok remains available in their phone maker’s app stores. All other Android users can install the ToTok app safely from our official website (click here).
We see no legitimate reason for this new ToTok ban.
After connecting tens of millions of users across hundreds of countries and becoming one of the fastest-growing apps globally, a storm of false accusations and outright lies triggered the ban by Apple. Despite the strong blow, the love and loyalty of our community remained intact as we kept experiencing a robust growth on Google Play and other app stores.
Eventually, this could not last.
Once again, the future of our company is at risk due to the unwarranted actions of Apple and Google, those on whom the worldwide developer community relies on, and whose dual role as competitor and operator of the app stores should, after yet another case, raise some concerns among regulators.
The sudden removal of our app from the two app stores, in the absence of any evidence, speak clearly about the lack of impartiality and fairness of Apple and Google towards the developer community and, ultimately, towards their and our customers.
Resolute in our innocence, over the past few weeks, we have taken great pains to ensure adherence to Apple and Google policies and requirements and we are firmly convinced of being in technical and contractual compliance with all of our obligations.
We have always been committed to safeguarding the privacy and security of our users by aligning our app to industry best practices (private CA system; all data is strongly encrypted by AES256; all transmission channel is well protected by RSA2048; call data is double encrypted by private protocol beyond the encryption channel) and complying with local and international applicable laws.
Being devoted to transparency, we have also invited Apple and Google teams to meet us and visit our office in person, in the hope of clearing any existing concerns.
Making things worse, over the past months, we have witnessed the proliferation of ToTok clone apps. Apps without any apparent working functionality that, mimicking our brand logo and name, have deceived unsuspecting users, exposing their data and stealing their money. Despite their manifest fraudulent nature, these apps have been approved and made free to circulate on the app stores, highlighting, once again, the evident flaw in the app approval process, which is used by the two giants as a tool to impose their control over the market.
In spite of injustices, and driven by our ethical principles, we will continue to serve our community at the best of our capabilities, maintaining users’ privacy and security as our top priorities. There is no end to security enhancement, and we are always working to improve it in addition to building many other new user features.
Our openness, honesty and transparency are the reasons why ToTok has such a vibrant and loyal user community globally. We will keep communicating directly with our community on any updates, concerns, and facts.
Giac and Long