Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow – The Google-Kenya ripoff:
The conclusion is hard to escape: Google — or people working on its behalf, with its knowledge and cooperation — took the numbers of tens of thousands of Kenyan businesses from Mocality’s database, then fraudulently solicited money from them by claiming to be in a joint venture with Mocality. This seems to me to be outright criminal activity, and Google has a lot of explaining to do.
Complete story from Mocality’s point of view can be found on their blog.
Also an interesting reply by Google’s VP for Product and Engineering, Europe and Emerging Markets, Nelson Mattos:
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.
One way to bend “Don’t Be Evil”: it wasn’t Google, it was just “a team of people working on a Google project”.