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  • Geebo 9:00 am on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , greyball,   

    DOJ launches criminal investigation into Uber 

    DOJ launches criminal investigation into Uber

    If you haven’t been following the plethora of problems that have plagued ride sharing service Uber, they got into a bit of hot water not too long ago for allegedly using a program called Greyball. Investigators with the city of Portland, Oregon, accused Uber of using Greyball to try to identify city inspectors and obfuscate their findings. Uber defended Greyball saying they were using it to protect themselves against user and driver fraud but still vowed to discontinue the program. Apparently, that apology was not enough for some people, as the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into Uber’s alleged use of Greyball.

    While Uber has not yet been charged with any criminal activity, they have been subpoenaed by a Northern California grand jury. No details have been made available regarding the subpoena, however, many tech news outlets are speculating Uber may have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by using Greyball. Neither the US Attorney’s Office nor Uber is commenting on the pending investigation.

    So far, Uber appears to be coated in teflon when it comes to any controversy sticking to them. People continue to use the platform by the millions despite all the accusations of anti-competitiveness and their alleged culture that has fostered sexual harassment. What would it actually take for people to stop using Uber to the point where the company would no longer financially viable to exist? Probably not a criminal fraud conviction.

  • Geebo 10:56 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: greyball,   

    Uber to stop using Greyball, sort of 

    Uber to stop using Greyball, sort of

    After it was revealed that ride sharing app Uber was using a program called Greyball, to fluster anti-Uber investigators, Uber now claims that they will stop using Greyball, to an extent.

    Uber says that they will stop using Greyball to deceive authorities but will keep the program in effect to test new features, use in marketing promotions, prevent fraud, and to protect their drivers.

    Can Uber actually be trusted to keep their word though? Uber has been embroiled in scandal after scandal after scandal, from something innocuous as defying a taxi protest in New York to unsettling claims of sexual harassment among executives. Uber has not really made a good faith gesture toward its users or employees to try to garner any positive PR. Uber has not appeared to acted genuine in any way, shape or form, since these controversies have started and have even admitted that their drivers are working in areas where they’ve been banned by law. Yet there has yet to be any major consumer backlash against this company that appears to be engaging in bad business practices.

    What will it take for Uber to either ingratiate themselves back in the good graces of the tech world or for them to fall from atop their industry dominance?

  • Geebo 11:32 am on March 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: greyball,   

    Uber embroiled in another scandal for allegedly using cop blocking app 

    Uber embroiled in another scandal for allegedly using cop blocking app

    Rode sharing app Uber has found itself in the headlines again, and once again it’s not for any good reason. Previously, Uber has been in the news for picking up fares at New York City airports during protests against President Trump’s proposed immigration ban. Then they found themselves dealing with allegations of a culture that allegedly promoted sexual harassment among corporate executives. This isn’t even mentioning Uber’s CEO getting into a shouting match with one of Uber’s drivers over working conditions. Now, Uber is being accused of using a program called Greyball that they would use to track investigators who were looking into Uber’s business practices.

    Greyball is said to not only help identify potential investigators and those acting on behalf of these investigators but would also put fake cars called ‘ghost cars’ on their app in order to fool investigators on where local Uber cars are.

    Instead of issuing a mea culpa, Uber is actually defending the use of Greyball by claiming that they’re protecting their drivers from physical harm and protecting Uber itself from its competitors. They even admit that they’re trying to disrupt users who are in collusion with investigators.

    When a company is admittedly active trying to obfuscate its business practices from investigators, it tends to mean that there’s something behind investigator’s allegations. Backpage is a perfect example of this kind of behavior. The question is will Uber’s userbase delete the app over questionable acts, or will they continue to use Uber over a matter of simple convenience?

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