We reported last week that Mocality Kenya accused Google of stealing its database of businesses and reaching out to those businesses while promoting Getting Kenyan Businesses Online as a Google-Mocality effort. In a statement to the UK’s ‘The Register’ Google says:
“We’re aware that a company in Kenya has accused us of using some of their publicly available customer data without permission. We are investigating the matter and will have more information as soon as possible.”
We also posted that a Google staff had apologised and claimed that it was unaware its team at Google Kenya was involved in such malpractice. So let’s agree Mocality’s data is publicly available. Does that make it available for distribution and commercial services?
Thankfully, Mocality has its Terms and Conditions clearly slated on its site. Here’s a bit of Section 9
9.4. use the Site or Service for promotional or commercial purposes, except as expressly permitted by Mocality in these Terms of Service;
9.5. use the Site or Service in a manner that may create a conflict of interest;
9.12. modify, adapt, appropriate, reproduce, distribute, translate, create derivative works or adaptations of, publicly display, sell, trade, or in any way exploit the Site or Site Content (other than Your Content), except as expressly authorised by Mocality in these Terms of Service;
9.13. reverse engineer any portion of the Site;
9.14. remove or modify any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notice on the Site or on any materials printed or copied off of the Site;
9.15. record, process, or mine information about other Users;
9.16. use any robot, spider, site search/retrieval application, or other automated device, process or means to access, retrieve, scrape, or index the Site or any Site Content;
9.17. access, retrieve or index the Site to construct or populate a searchable database of business listings or reviews;
Looking at the Terms and Conditions above, Google is clearly on the wrong turf here and they’ll also have to explain why its staff were calling businesses and claiming to have a relationship with Mocality. We remember that Google was very pissed when Bing collected some of its search results via Internet Explorer users.
We’ll keep you updated as more details unfold.