Residents in the UAE can now make free national and international voice and video calls using ToTok app. Image Credit: ToTok

ABU DHABI: The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on Friday issued a statement saying it is closely following up on recent allegations concerning the privacy policy of some video and voice call Apps in the UAE, including ToTok.

The authority made it clear that the UAE’s legal and regulatory framework strictly prohibits “espionage” and that any of these acts is deemed to be a crime punishable by applicable laws, adding that it imposes strict standards to protect the privacy of users.

The TRA reiterated that VoIP apps approved in the country are subject to these standards and their implementation is monitored on an ongoing basis.

The UAE is committed to encouraging the appropriate investment environment to support entrepreneurship and innovation in various fields. The country is also seeking to adopt and support the latest technologies such as the 5G, blockchain and Internet of Things and artificial intelligence applications, the authority further said.

The statement comes in the wake of recent reports that ToTok had been removed from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The issue was first reported on December 21, after a Dubai-based tweep said he was unable to locate it on the Apple App store. Subsequently, the matter became the subject of a hot debate on social media.