FBI Probing Uber Over Lyft Driver Tracking Program

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has turned their attention to a phased-out Uber program that could track drivers working for rival ride-sharing company Lyft.

The federal law enforcement agency is investigating if Uber used software to interfere illegally with its competitors, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter.

An Uber spokesperson told the Journal that they’re cooperating with the investigation that’s being led by the FBI’s New York office and the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office.

The now defunct program had Uber employees creating fake Lyft user accounts to search and request for rides. The Journal reports Uber’s ‘Hell’ program gave the company unfair insight into competitor information including the ability to track nearby drivers and monitor ride prices.

The newspaper also explained the program was used to collect Lyft driver data and then attempt to poach these drivers with cash incentives.

The lead question for investigators is whether Uber’s program—which allegedly ran from 2014 to 2016—constituted “unauthorized access of a computer,” the WSJ stated.

The FBI investigation is yet another notch against a company that’s been embroiled in controversy this year. However, the recent appointment of new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi brought an end to a two-month long search to replace the company’s disgraced former top executive Travis Kalanick.