Today, Peter Teffer from the EU Observer published a hard hitting article about the DCTA’s sale of Codentify to what at first glance seems like a third party company. I felt it important to provide as much detail as possible to shed even more light on the important issues he raised.
Just a small reminder before we proceed – DCTA stands for “Digital Coding & Tracking Association”, which is a very “techy” brand-name for an association consisting of the Big Tobacco companies (I guess Deception Campaign for Tobacco Affiliates would sound a bit too sincere…).
It seems that the industry’s efforts to portray Codentify as a legitimate “Digital Coding and Tracing” solution have finally crumbled, because at the beginning of the June DCTA’s official web page released a statement that all of its technology was allegedly transferred to an independent third party company named “Inexto”. If that was entirely true, it would be good news for the advocates of an independent Track & Trace solution, such as the FCTC protocol and this blog – but unfortunately in this case, it is only an additional layer of deceit.
The press release states that Inexto, an affiliate of the French group Impala, has acquired the DCTA’s Track & Trace and product authentication technology (i.e. Codentify). It must raise a question – who is really behind this Inexto company that decided to buy a controversial product such as this?
Meet Inexto’s managing director, Philippe Chatelain. You might know him from his former role as PMI’s Director Product Tracking Intelligence & Security in the past 14 years (as a matter of fact, his LinkedIn page states he still holds this position):
Moreover, according to Codentify’s European patent registration (EP1719070) he is also the inventor of Codentify(!), along with Erwan Fradet:
Erwan Fradet was a senior engineer in PMI’s tracking and security activities over the past 10+ years, in fact, since 2010 he was Codentify’s project manager. But where does he work these days? He is Inexto’s new Chief Technology Officer!
And the list goes on… Inexto’s Chief Operating Officer, Patrick Chanez, is also a senior PMI manager:
And so is Inexto’s Development Manager, Nicolas Stubi:
The question that remains unanswered is: What type of severance and pension plans did these employees receive from PMI?
By now the bottom line is clear: Inexto did not acquire Codentify – Inexto IS Codentify.
Same people, same interests. In fact, these are high ranking PMI managers, who were (and still are) in the core of Codentify operations. A name change and a couple of money transfers from one corporation to another does not change this reality, and simply cannot be enough to satisfy the rightful demands of the FCTC protocol for a truly impartial solution, not one that has a decade’s worth of ties to the tobacco industry.