The Men in Black, aka the FBI, are investigating Uber to see if the company used software to illegally interfere with its competitors, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Uber software program (which staff called ‘Hell’) could track drivers working for rival service Lyft Inc.
This shady little hell would create fake Lyft customer accounts to seek rides, allowing it to track nearby Lyft drivers and view ride prices which Uber could then capitalize on.
It also enabled User to see the drivers and then attempt to poach those Lyft drivers with various incentives.
And while all this seems totes not cool, the FBI isn’t focusing on what it enabled Uber to do (most of which would be seen as anti-competitive…or massively competitive to stalker level extremes, take your pick).
Instead, the FBI is seeking to discover whether ‘Hell’ comprised of unauthorized access of a computer.
The program ‘Hell’ is no longer available having been put to rest last year, however as everyone is noting this is another chink in the Uber armor adding to the pile up of investigations and court battles.
Uber earlier this year lost a case in Australia for not paying GST, trying to argue that Uber drivers weren’t taxi drivers, and again losing the same battle in France later in the year.
The company has also been at battle heads with staff, engineers, and privacy groups.
Despite this, however, majority of drivers and most Users still prefer the service to taxis citing better safety, clarity, and higher quality experiences than that of traditional taxi services.