Uber has long acknowledged its ability to surveil users, but this might be going too far. The company has been using a tool called Greyball to collect information on enforcement officials in cities where the ride service is illegal or facing regulatory hurdles, according to the New York Times. The program appears to use a combination of geo-fencing, credit card account information, social media, and other indicators to flag users as local officials. Ghost cabs, or fake vehicle icons shown circulating streets inside the app, were also used to thwart attempts to find drivers.
Uber is known for its “God View,” a tool that shows employees where a given rider is at any time. So it’s not terribly shocking the company would have a system in place for recognizing (and diverting) law enforcement. But the techniques bring up both ethical and legal questions for the Uber, which is already suffering a barrage of criticism for its workplace culture. All I can wonder is: What will we learn next about the ride-hailing behemoth? Read more here.