Take time to read this report by CEO of Mocality which we have published the summary below. When people praised Google for saving companies $10 a year on web registration, we laughed. The reason is that the problem for African companies is not finding $10 to go online. Simply, Google wanted to have access to their data. They do this shamelessly. But the guys in Mocality are pretty smart and did a PhD level data analytics by documenting and archiving and then deliver a blow to this company we do not really like because of how they crush local companies. Instead of outsourcing jobs to local firms, Google wants to do all.
That is shameful especially now they are doing really unethical things. For those that use Google for ads, we are told Google always yanks them out for minor offenses. You make $400 and Google bans you. And there are many companies that never make the thresholds for payments, what happens? Google keeps the money. Now, who can stop this empire of evil, on Africa. Google needs to be regulated in Africa. Africa Union must do it work and get this company in order.
I moved to Africa from the UK 30 months ago to be CEO of Mocality. When I moved, Kenya’s reputation as a corrupt place to do business made me nervous. I’ve been very happily surprised- until this point, I’ve not done business with any company here that was not completely honestly conducted. It is important for global businesses to adapt to local cultural practice, but ethics are an invariant. As a admirer of Google’s usually bold ethical stance around the world, to find those principles are not applied in Kenya is simply… saddening.Someone, somewhere, has some questions to answer.
These are my personal top 3:
- If Google wanted to work with our data, why didn’t they just ask?
In discussions with various Google Kenya/Africa folks in the past, I’d raised the idea of working together more closely in Kenya. Getting Kenyan businesses online is precisely what we do.
- Who authorised this? Until we uncovered the ‘India by way of Mountain View’ angle, I could have believed that this was a local team that somehow forgot the corporate motto, but not now.
- Who knew, and who SHOULD have known, even if they didn’t know?
Google has provided an apology. Google’s official statement comes from Nelson Mattos, the Vice-President for Product and Engineering, Europe and Emerging Markets:
“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 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.”
Google is still looking into the matter.