Uber is under criminal investigation for building software to avoid regulators



Uber is facing a criminal probe from the US Justice Department over a piece of software it used to evade law enforcement and transportation regulators, according to Reuters. The program, known internally at Uber as “Greyball,” was first disclosed by a March report in The New York Times. Uber used the software tool to hide cars from regulators who were attempting to conduct sting operations on drivers in areas the company was not yet licensed to operate, such as Portland, Oregon.

Greyball was a multi-step defense, in Uber’s eyes, from those eager to “violate its terms of service.” The company claims it was developed as a way to cut down on fraud and protect drivers from violent taxi union protestors, and it claimed at the time that it still uses Greyball primarily for this purpose. “This program denies ride requests to users who are violating our terms of service,” Uber said in a statement back in March. “Whether that’s people aiming to physically harm drivers, competitors looking to disrupt our operations, or opponents who collude with officials on secret ‘stings’ meant to entrap drivers.” [Read more here...]

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