Rather than sticking to strictly messaging-app-like activities, ToTok reportedly intended to use that access to surveil its users. And by blocking other chat apps in the country, the U.A.E. practically ensured the app’s success.
“You don’t need to hack people to spy on them if you can get people to willingly download this app to their phone,” Wardle told the New York Times. “By uploading contacts, video chats, location, what more intelligence do you need?”