SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Uber has been wielding a secret weapon to thwart authorities who have been trying to curtail or shut down its ride-hailing service in cities around the world.
The program included a feature nicknamed “Greyball” internally that identified regulators who were posing as riders while trying to collect evidence that Uber’s service was breaking local laws governing taxis.
To stymie those efforts, Uber served up a fake version of its app to make it appear the undercover regulators were summoning a car only to have the ride canceled.
The New York Times revealed Greyball’s existence in a story published Friday based on information provided by four current and former Uber employees.
Uber acknowledged it has used Greyball as a counterattack against regulators colluding with the company’s opponents to entrap its drivers.