The revelation about Uber’s use of the Greyball program added to the company’s recent stream of bad news.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s office has confirmed that it is investigating an Uber program called Greyball, a tool the ride-hailing company developed to show individual riders different versions of its app. The news comes a day after Uber said it would prohibit employees from using the program to thwart regulators.
The article, which cited four former and current Uber employees, said the company had used Greyball to thwart authorities in various cities in the United States and other countries.
Officials in Portland, Ore., have called for an investigation into Uber’s use of Greyball there.
In 2014, Uber started offering its low-cost ride-hailing service in Portland without getting permission. The city later declared it illegal. Law enforcement officers posed as riders during their investigation of the service, but were unable to catch Uber drivers in the act.
It appeared as though Uber was using Greyball to avoid the officers. In one instance, a code enforcement officer in Portland who opened the Uber app would see representations of cars on the app’s map. But the cars themselves never materialized. And the cars they were able to hail would cancel the ride before they arrived.
Last month, Uber faced increasing criticism of its workplace culture and was embroiled in a lawsuit over its self-driving cars. And last week, the company dealt with concerns regarding the temperament of its chief executive, Travis Kalanick, after a video of him berating an Uber driver became public.
Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle