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

Dubai: Amid global media reports accusing ToTok, a popular video call and chat service, of being spyware and misusing user data, the developers have released a statement denying all accusations.

Last week, ToTok was taken off the Apple and Google app stores because there were allegations that ToTok was being used as a spy tool. It is still not available to new users. However, existing users have said they are stiil able to use the Totok app for free calls.

Titled 'A note from the ToTok cofounders', the app website features the statement rebuffing allegations of being a spy tool.

The statement said: "In this holiday season of joy and celebration, we would have preferred not to dignify those who manufacture lies with a direct response. But as ToTok cofounders, we are personally compelled to speak up for ourselves and for our users."

Referring to allegations of lack of privacy and security concerns, the co-founders said in the statement: "Here is the fact - since day one, we have built ToTok with user security and privacy as our priority. Don’t just take our word for it. A technical analysis by a former NSA employee has concluded ToTok 'simply does what it claims to do, and really nothing more... no exploits, no backdoors, and no malware'.

"Here is the irony - this technical analysis was actually requested by the same people who initiated the defamation of ToTok.

"Not only do we respect privacy and ensure security, our users also have the complete control over what data they want to share at their own discretion. The shameless fabrication by our distractors cannot be further from the truth.

"Our openness, honesty and transparency are the reasons why ToTok has such a vibrant and loyal user community globally. It is for the same reasons that we are confident Google and Apple will reinstate our app, so the hundreds of thousands of new users who have been waiting will finally be able to join all of us in the ToTok community.

"The value of our ToTok company is diametrically opposed to those who promote fear and hatred. While our distractors are bent to divide people, ToTok is determined to break down barriers.

"We cannot wait to connect more people around the world and bring everyone many exciting new features that we are working on."