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Uber under fire for ‘Greyball’ program used to dodge enforcement officials

By Bill Camarda, Sophos 

March 6, 2017

What do you do if you’re violating local government regulations and you know the local authorities are looking for you? Maybe you lay low. But if you’re Uber, you supercharge everyday “hiding” with an integrated assemblage of industrial-strength code, data analytics and whatever creative low-tech methods you can conjure up. So the New York Times reports, and Uber admits.

According to the Times, Uber unleashed its Greyball program “to identify and circumvent officials who were trying to clamp down on the ride-hailing service. Uber used these methods to evade the authorities in cities like Boston, Paris and Las Vegas, and in countries like Australia, China and South Korea.” In some locations, says the NYT, Uber’s services were currently being “resisted by law enforcement”.

In other locations, such as Portland, Oregon, local government was taking the position that the low-cost UberX service is illegal – a claim that Uber vigorously disagreed with and chose to disregard.

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