Feeds

Google MORTIFIED by Mocality's 'scalped data' claims

Says soz to Kenyan startup

Reducing security risks from open source software

Google issued an apology to Mocality late on Friday after the startup's CEO uncovered evidence that employees working for Mountain View had lied about their biz relationship with the Kenyan biz.

"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," said Google's European product and engineering veep Nelson Mattos.

"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."

That apology came at the end of a difficult week for Google, which faced fresh criticism from privacy advocates after the company confirmed it would begin slotting personalised results from its social network Google+ into its search engine.

Mocality's boss, Stefan Magdalinski, posted an update on his blog, where he first revealed that Google employees in both Kenya and India had acted inappropriately.

Prior to that he had accused the internet giant of "systematically accessing Mocality’s database and attempting to sell their competing product to our business owners", adding: "They have been telling untruths about their relationship with us, and about our business practices, in order to do so."

Magdalinski said he appreciated that Google had swiftly apologised about the whole sorry affair. But he added that questions remained about why such action was allowed to happen in the first place.

"The most serious issue is not the trawling of our database, it is the behaviour of the Google representatives on the calls," he said.

"The real test is what action Google takes to remedy the damage done, the openness with which they explain how this went so wrong, and what steps they take to ensure this never happens again, in any country, to any startup."

Magdalinski said that "at this point" no legal action was being taken against Google.

He added: "Apparently, the calls were made by a third party vendor. I can see how this was the case for the activity we saw in Kenya, but the Indian activity seemed to come from Google’s own network.

"I know (from friends who are Googlers) how preciously that network is guarded. How was a third party given access to it?" he asked.

Google, in the meantime, is feverishly continuing to investigate exactly what went down with Mocality. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.