TECHNOLOGY

Uber Faces Federal Inquiry Over ‘Greyball’ Technology

The investigation is in its early stages and is focused on how the company used Greyball program.

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BY Emily Canal - 05 May 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

The Department of Justice has started a criminal investigation into Uber's software called Greyball, a technology that helped drivers evade local regulators, a person familiar with the investigation told The New York Times.

Uber developed Greyball to help the company enter new markets where its ride-hailing service was not permitted. The tool would deploy a fake app to thwart enforcement agencies that were attempting to crack down on the service. In March, Times reported on Greyball and later Uber announced that it would prohibit employees from using the software.

The investigation is in its early stages, and is focused on how the company used Greyball. An Uber spokesman and a Justice Department spokesman declined to comment to media outlets about the case,

Uber has been no stranger to scandals. The company has come under fire for sexual harassment claims, the aggressive business tactics of CEO Travis Kalanick, and Uber's harsh internal culture. It is also currently in the middle of an internal investigation into its workplace culture and is facing a lawsuit that was filed by Waymo. The self-driving car company is alleging that Uber stole trade secrets to develop is autonomous vehicles.