Seemingly, the “getting success at any cost” theory could bring a lot more cruciality for already much-scandalized ride-hailing and ride-sharing company Uber. In addition to its previous serious scandals, here comes a criminal case on its way to let it taste the mud. Reuter was the first to break this news that the US Department of Justice has conducted an investigation about Uber Greyball Program that is already much hyped and controversial. The agency is likely to pull Uber on the dock regarding this burning issue.
Before we move forward with the details of this probe, let me pop the bubble of your confusion about Uber Greyball Program. Well, it is a software developed by Uber that was first unveiled and bumped the airwaves in March 2014, by New York Times. The software was mainly made to avoid the transportation regulators and dodge the traffic law enforcement agencies.
Uber’s idea behind this tool was to use it as a shield against the transportation regulators who were gearing up to hold the sting operation on drivers in the areas where Uber did not have the license to offer its services. But as you know, it is Uber, a fearless rule breaker company!
The way Uber presented this Uber Greyball program was somewhat contrary to its original purpose. Uber cited in New York Times that the rationale of developing this software was to preserve the well being of the drivers who were threatened by the rowdy taxi commission protesters and it would safeguard the drivers from the violent aftermath of so-called sting operations. Furthermore, the company defended Uber Greyball Program by demonstrating it as a tool to block those riders request who have a history of violating Uber’s terms and conditions.This term Greyball was internally used in the company as a tool to get rid off regulators hawk eyes and run its ride-hailing services in the gray areas where it is not allowed to give its services.
“This program denies ride requests to users who are violating our terms of service — whether that’s people aiming to harm drivers physically, competitors looking to disrupt our operations, or opponents who collude with officials on secret ‘stings’ meant to entrap drivers,” said the company when enquired about Uber Greyball Program.
However, the investigation process is in its initial stage for now but the sources of Reuters confirmed it, and the following statement are cited in the report.
“Uber received a subpoena from a Northern California grand jury seeking documents concerning how the software tool functioned and where it was deployed, one person familiar with the request said. That indicates a criminal investigation is underway. The second source confirmed that was the case.”
There is no response to the request of commenting about the investigation and foreseen lawsuit against Uber Greyball Program from the Uber’s representatives and spokesmen as of now. But we are keenly looking into this matter and will update further as we get any response from Uber.