The U.S. Department of Justice has begun a criminal investigation into Uber Technologies Inc's use of a software tool that helped its drivers evade local transportation regulators.
Uber has acknowledged the software, known as "Greyball," helped it identify and circumvent government officials who were trying to clamp down on Uber in areas where its service had not yet been approved, such as Portland, Oregon. The company prohibited the use of Greyball for this purpose shortly after journalists revealed its existence in March, saying the program was created to check ride requests to prevent fraud and safeguard drivers.Read more
Uber was threatened with removal from the iPhone's App Store after the car-hailing company bypassed Apple's rules by tagging iPhones that had deleted its app. Apple's chief executive held a meeting with Uber boss in which he personally warned that the Uber app would be deleted.
Uber reportedly circumvented App Store rules by installing a piece of code that could identify individual iPhones even after the app had been deleted. The technology was not used to track location but kept a record of individual iPhones. This means that if the Uber app was downloaded onto a device, the company could tell if the app had previously been installed and deleted on it.Read more
A secret Uber program internally dubbed “Hell” allegedly spied on arch-rival Lyft to determine which drivers were working double shifts for both companies, letting the cab-hire app steer more work towards them in an attempt to deprive its competitor of workers.
The report of the “Hell” program continues a string of uncomfortable claims for the company, still dealing with the fall-out of a string of sexual harassment allegations at the beginning of the year, and now operating with a brand new head of public policy and communications following the departure of its previous PR chief, Rachel Whetstone, on Tuesday.Read more
Uber has for years engaged in a worldwide program to deceive the authorities in markets where its low-cost ride-hailing service was resisted by law enforcement or, in some instances, had been banned.
The program, involving a tool called Greyball, uses data collected from the Uber app and other techniques to identify and circumvent officials who were trying to clamp down on the ride-hailing service. Uber used these methods to evade the authorities. Greyball was part of a program called VTOS, short for “violation of terms of service,” which Uber created to root out people it thought were using or targeting its service improperly.Read more
Intel, Uber and IoT company Aeris have joined forces in an effort aimed at fostering industry cooperation when it comes to building safety features into autonomous vehicles and the systems that support them. Today the group, which goes by the name Future of Automotive Security Technology Research, issued a manifesto explaining its intentions.
The manifesto hopes to galvanize the nascent and sometimes balkanized autonomous vehicle industry. It’s call to action is to infuse security into the emerging and diverse autonomous vehicle supply chain comprised of automakers, component manufacturers, software engineers and cloud providers.Read more
Despite its short life, Uber has already faced waves of fraudulent activity. In 2015, hackers broke into and sold wads of Uber accounts on the dark web, and at around the same time scammers in China used modified smartphones to place fake Uber bookings.
More recently, English-speaking fraudsters have also allegedly been spoofing Uber rides, pretending to be both a driver and customer, and tricking the company out of cash in the process. “Despite the security concerns with hacked accounts and lackluster security that are have plagued Uber for most of the past year surprisingly, more and more people are joining,” one scamming guide reads.Read more
Uber's troublesome history with customer privacy issues took another hit, in the form of a lawsuit over allegations that Uber's employees spied on celebrities and former romantic partners.
Ward Spangenberg, a former forensic investigator for Uber, is suing the company for wrongful termination, age discrimination and defamation, according to court documents. Spangenberg alleges that sensitive information collected by Uber was widely available to employees, who then used it to "track high profile politiciains, celebrities and even personal acquaintances of Uber employees."Read more
Imagine you’re on your way to a therapy appointment in a downtown high-rise. You hail an Uber and enter a nearby coffee shop as your destination so you can grab a snack before the appointment. In the car, you scroll through Instagram and check your email.
You get out, buy your coffee, and walk around the corner to your therapist’s office. If you installed the latest app update, Uber has been tracking your location the entire time. The app update changes the way Uber collects location data from its users. Previously, Uber only collected location information while a user had the app open – now, Uber asks users to always share their location with the ride-hailing company.Read more
The FBI has proposed keeping its database of fingerprints, iris scans and photographs exempt from privacy laws, prompting companies like Lyft and Uber to join advocacy groups in saying they are “deeply concerned” about the proposed change.
The bureau wants to shield its massive biometric database, called the Next Generation Identification (NGI), from Privacy Act rules that require a person to be notified if they are in a government system, as well as rules that let people ensure that the information the government is holding about them is accurate. The FBI’s proposal was first published in early May.Read more
Uber accidentally exposed the personal data of hundreds of its drivers last night, revealing social security numbers, pictures of driver licenses, vehicle registration numbers, and other information.
Drivers registered with the ridesharing company first noticed the leak and dedicated Uber message boards. One driver said that he was presented with thousands of confidential documents from other drivers when he tried to upload a document of his own, saying that he saw "a lot of taxi certification forms and livery drivers licenses" in addition to "W-9 forms with Social Security numbers for taxi cab companies."Read more