Search engine giant Google has admitted that its staff members had ‘improperly’ accessed its Kenyan contender’s database to boost up its business.
Google said it is “mortified” to know that its staff illicitly entered the business directory of a Kenyan firm, Mocality to sell a competing product to the latter’s customers and vowed to instantly started probing the incident.
The Guardian quoted Google Europe product and engineering vice-president, Nelson Mattos said “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,”.
He further added “We have already unreservedly apologized 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,”
But it is still not yet clear whether the staff members were involved in this fraud or contractors weere involved.
The incident became public after Mocality Chief Executive Stefan Magdalinski accused Google of “telling untruths” and a “human-powered, systematic, months-long, deceitful effort to sabotage our business” in a blog post.
Magdalinski also said that “he had suspected the alleged malpractice after Google launched a rival initiative, “Getting Kenyan Businesses Online”, which offered to assist Kenyan businesses to create a website.
Mocality afterwards began receiving calls inquiring about the process to create the website- a service never offered by the enterprise.
Mocality detected this fraud by carrying out a “sting” operation by changing some telephone numbers on its business directory to the contact details of its own call centre.