Technology

Uber to stop using program to evade regulators

Uber
Uber

Uber will stop using its “Greyball” software to avoid scrutiny from government officials, the company announced Thursday.

A New York Times report last week revealed that Uber had used the program for years to avoid government stings aimed at testing whether the company was operating illegally.

The Greyball system allowed Uber to make sure that regulators looking to test Uber would instead see a fake version of the Uber app, complete with ghost cars that didn’t actually exist.

“We have started a review of the different ways this technology has been used to date,” said Uber’s chief security officer Joe Sullivan. “In addition, we are expressly prohibiting its use to target action by local regulators going forward. Given the way our systems are configured, it will take some time to ensure this prohibition is fully enforced.”

{mosads}Uber used the tool to operate in cities like Portland, Ore., Paris and Boston to circumvent officials trying crack down on the app.

Greyball was part of Uber’s larger “Violation of Terms of Service” program that the company used to target people it deemed were using the app improperly.

In a statement, Sullivan noted that Greyball had other purposes, including fraud prevention and feature testing.

Uber didn’t respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

 

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