Storm over 'fraudulent' Google behaviour in Kenya
Kenya - Mocality, Kenya’s “largest” business directory, has accused Google of knowingly engaging in deceptive behaviour and telling “untruths”, memeburn.com reported on Saturday.
The Kenyan company is a three-year-old start-up owned by South African-based emerging market internet giant, Naspers — an US$18bn company that has stakes in Facebook, Tencent and mail.ru — and many other emerging market internet properties dotted around the world.
According to the report, Mocality says that Google illegally used the Kenyan site’s database to boost its recently launchedGetting Kenyan Businesses Online(GKBO), an initiative aimed at Kenya SMEs who do not have an online presence.
Memeburn said, however, that Google has since issued a statement on Google+ saying the search engine had “unreservedly apologised to Mocality” and was still investigating the incident.
“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, ” Google’s emerging markets product and engineering VP Nelson Mattos said in the statement.
“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,” he said.
It is, however, unclear at this stage whether the individuals involved were Google employees or contractors working on the company’s behalf.
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