Uber during its early days was accused of being rather anticompetitive in nature by coming up with various ways to interfere with its competition, like Lyft, such as calling and requesting for Lyft rides only to cancel them. The company had even at one point supposedly ran a computer program called “Hell” that spied on its competitors.
While the company is definitely trying to clean up its act these days, it seems that the past is coming back to haunt them as Uber is now facing federal investigation by the FBI (via Engadget) as to whether or not its Hell software had illegally interfered with Lyft’s operations. For those unfamiliar, the software exploited vulnerability in Lyft’s systems to spy on the company’s drivers over the course of 2 years, from 2014 to early 2016.
The data was used to determine which drivers drove for both Lyft and Uber, and then tried to entice those drivers to work exclusively for Uber. Uber has since issued a statement to The Wall Street Journal and have stated that they are cooperating with the investigation, which is currently trying to figure out if the use of the Hell software could be considered as unauthorized access to a computer system.
Like we said, Uber is in the process of trying to clean up the negative image that the public has of them, which is by introducing new policies that will protect rider and drivers, as well as appointing a new CEO.