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Is Uber deceiving the authorities with a secret spy programme?

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What next for Uber?

A secret program called Greyball has been used by Uber to deceive regulators.

The New York Times has revealed that: “Uber has for years engaged in a worldwide program to deceive the authorities in markets where its low-cost ride-hailing service was resisted by law enforcement or, in some instances, had been banned.”

New York Times: Uber has acknowledged that Greyball has been used in multiple countries.

Greyball is preventing undercover regulators globally from shutting down the hailing app service. This secret program can identify officials monitoring Uber drivers however, it was initially developed to protect the company from any “violations of terms of service.”

However, data collected from the Uber phone app was used to identify regulators and other officials monitoring their drivers. This secret program has allowed Uber to monitor users habits to identify undercover regulators using the service as normal passengers by obtaining geolocation and credit card data.

Once the program has identified any official, regulator or even the police trying to entrap a driver another version of the app cancels their booking.

These methods and techniques are clearly enabling Uber globally to circumvent the authorities.

In a statement to the New York Times, Uber said, “This program denies ride requests to users who are violating our terms of service”

“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.”

It comes in the same month where Uber is being sued by Google for $1.5bn, being sued by a UK Barrister for £20m unpaid VAT, has lost its High Court of Appeal where drivers must learn to speak English to a standard, Ubers Chief Kalanick was forced to apologise for swearing at one of his drivers this week and has further had to apologise for abhorrent sexism at his company.




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