The co-founder of a messaging app Apple and Google banned from their app stores has made a plea for its reinstatement. Apple and Google gave ToTok the boot following a report that it is a United Arab Emirates spy tool used for spying on its users.
Giacomo Ziani posted a message on Twitter, tagging both Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai. Ziani said that the ban was, “seriously hurting our company and putting all of our efforts at risk.”
ToTok launched earlier this month. An article for the Arab Emirates’ news website The National described it as, “the only free government-approved VoIP video app available in the UAE.”
Alternatives such as FaceTime, WhatsApp and Skype do not work in the UAE. ToTok offered unlimited free calls, with zero advertising and no subscription.
ToTok: Banned messaging app
The New York Times did some digging, however. In a recent report it claimed that ToTok sent data to intelligence agencies in the UAE. This data included text conversations, user locations, and recordings of audio conversations. Apple and Google swiftly moved to ban the app.
Giacomo Ziani denied the report. He said that ToTok is not “linked to any government.” He also insisted that:
“Since the unexpected removal of our app from your stores, we have been working very closely with your review team to address your every concern and now ToTok most strictly complies with every exact requirement.”
Ziani has offered to meet with Apple and Google to address any concerns they might have.
At time of writing, the app is still not available in the App Store. People who have downloaded the app already are reportedly still able to use its voice calling feature.
Via: Arabian Business