The U.S. justice Department began a criminal investigation against Uber Technologies for the use of programs that help drivers to bypass local regulatory agencies. About it reports Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the situation.
The company used the program Greyball that can “mark” some users in order that they may see a different version of the app, says Reuters. In these versions, in different situations Greyball changed the actual location of Uber cars, for example, if drivers were threatened or their work tried to limit officials. Local authorities could look for drivers for them to fine, confiscate the vehicle or to interfere with activities, notes Reuters.
The company analyzed credit information, the user’s device, location and other factors to predict whether a ride is dangerous for the driver, reported past and current employees of the company. If the trip seemed to be illegal, the driver would have seen it in the app and would not have chosen such a client, writes Reuters.
Thus, says the Agency, company, Uber could go further spelled out in the user agreement, for example, to extract the credit card information to find out whether the client is associated with the used police credit organizations, or to check his profiles in social networks.
The company ceased to use Greyball in March, shortly after the New York Times reported its existence. The newspaper reported that the program was used to test queries on a mission to prevent fraud and to protect drivers. According to the NYT, the program was used with 2014 in Paris, Las Vegas, Australia and South Korea, as well as in Oregon and Portland.
Reuters citing a source said that Uber received a summons from jury duty Northern California, which requires you to provide information about how the software operates and where it was deployed. This information can be queried only when the criminal investigation. A second source confirmed that a record.
Press Secretary Uber has not responded to the request of the Agency.