Uber faces criminal probe over controversial ‘Greyball’ software

Uber’s secretive software that helped it avoid stings by law enforcement in cities where it wasn’t allowed to operate is causing the $68 billion ride-hailing startup another headache.

After weeks of negative publicity and backlash from officials in cities who say their attempts at regulation were thwarted, Uber now faces a criminal investigation.

A grand jury served Uber with a subpoena for documents that show how the software worked and where it was deployed, Reuters reported, citing two anonymous people familiar with the request.

Greyball is a software tool that allowed Uber to display a fake version of the app to certain customers, and avoid giving them rides. Uber says it used the tool to deter riders from using the app in violation of the company’s terms of service, to prevent fraud and protect drivers from harm. But Uber also reportedly used the tool to identify and block law enforcement who might be requesting a ride in order to crack down on the driver and the company for operating in violation of local rules.

Uber faced a massive backlash after the program’s¬†existence was revealed by The New York Times in March.

A few days later, Uber said it was prohibiting the use of Greyball to target local regulators.

Meanwhile, Uber’s board hired outside law firm Sheraman & Sterling to conduct an internal investigation into how the tool was used, Reuters reported.


Photo:¬†This file photo taken on March 10, 2016 shows a man checking a vehicle at an Uber ‘Work On Demand’ recruitment event in Los Angeles. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)





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  • benT

    like – who authorised and perfected its development?