Uber Greyball: How Ride Service Evades Authorities By Using Secret Technology

John Leuven - Author
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Mar. 5 2017, Updated 5:21 p.m. ET

Ride-sharing service Uber has found success in a lot of cities around the world. Of course, it would not be surprising to hear that their services are still deemed illegal, or are outright banned in some locales. However, the company apparently had ways of secretly getting around this. It has been revealed recently that the service has been using a “secret” program called Greyball to try and evade authorities.

According to Reuters,Uber has confirmed that they have been using the “secret tool” Greyball for years to avoid authorities in locations where services such as theirs would be faced with resistance from local law enforcement. It does this in several ways.

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For one, Greyball can deceive authorities by displaying “ghost” Uber cars on its app, or showing that there are no cars available at all. Needless to say, this can confuse law enforcement officials who aim to ticket or impound Uber cars. The program can also cancel or ignore rides hailed from a location if it suspects that the service is a sting operation meant to trap divers.

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