Google apologises to Mocality

Google says it is ‘mortified’ to learn of claims that Kenya’s Mocality data was improperly mined by Google affiliates.

This week, Mocality alleged that a Kenyan-based Google team had improperly mined the customer database of local directory, and had misled customers.

Mocality’s CEO, Stefan Magdalinksi, said in a blog post that the claims followed months of investigation by his company.

Mocality has an online directory of some 170,000 businesses and provides a free mobile website to each business listed. Magdalinksi wrote that people affiliated with Google’s Kenyan operation, Getting Kenyan Business Online, contacted nearly 30% of Mocality’s database. It is alleged that they claimed Mocality charges for listings.

Nelson Mattos, Vice President of Engineering - EMEA Region for Google, stated: “We were mortified to learn that a team of people working on a Google project improperly used Mocality’s data and misrepresented our relationship with Mocality to encourage customers to create new websites. We’ve already unreservedly apologised to Mocality. We’re still investigating exactly how this happened, and as soon as we have all the facts, we’ll be taking the appropriate action with the people involved.

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