Uber faces criminal probe over use of Greyball tool to evade transport officials


The U.S department has started a criminal investigation on Uber for using a software that enabled them to operate in certain areas where it has been banned or restricted.

The software called GreyBall helped the drivers to avoid detection from the radar of transportation authorities in areas including Portland and Oregon, where the service had not yet been approved.

Having said that, this software was prohibited from using in order to prevent fraud and safeguard drivers. The GreyBall software was brought into the limelight in March by New York Times. This criminal probe is a huge blow for the company’s reputation. The Uber spokesman and Justice Department declined to comment on this matter.

As per the Uber, the software hides the location of Uber cars, in order to test new features or physical threats. Having said that, this software is a part of broader Uber System called Violation of Terms of Service, that analyzed credit card, device identification, location data and other factors to predict whether a request for a ride was legitimate.

Additionally, Uber had used Greyball to evade 16 Portland Bureau of Transportation officials, denying them dozens of rides, in December 2014 before Uber was authorized to operate there.