Uber Says It Is Reviewing ‘Greyball’ Technology That Helps Drivers Dodge Authorities

Uber, who was recently caught using a special program to secretly dodge authorities in contested cities, has provided an update on the situation.

“This technology is used to hide the standard city app view for individual riders, enabling Uber to show that same rider a different version,” the company explained in a statement. “It’s been used for many purposes, for example: the testing of new features by employees; marketing promotions; fraud prevention; to protect our partners from physical harm; and to deter riders using the app in violation of our terms of service.”

The accusation of Uber is that it used the technology to prevent authorities from hailing rides with drivers, keeping operations running in cities that hadn’t formally approved the service. The company says it is now reviewing the program and will ensure it is not used for this illegal purpose.

“We have started a review of the different ways this technology has been used to date,” says Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer. “In addition, we are expressly prohibiting its use to target action by local regulators going forward.”

He added: “Given the way our systems are configured, it will take some time to ensure this prohibition is fully enforced.”

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