Enlarge (credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images)
We reported back in May that the Justice Department had commenced a criminal investigation into Uber’s use of a software tool that helped drivers evade picking up local officials in places where the service had not been approved.
Portland, Oregon, was one of the cities we mentioned where Uber employed the so-called “Greyball” tool.
The city has now released a scathing report detailing that Uber evaded picking up 16 local officials for a ride before April 2015, when the service finally won approval by Portland regulators.
The Greyball software employs a dozen data points on a new user in a given market, including whether a rider’s Uber app is opened repeatedly in or around municipal offices, which credit card is linked to the account, and any publicly available information about the new user on social media.
If the data suggests the new user is a regulator in a market where Uber is not permitted, the company would present that user with false information about where Uber rides are.
This includes showing ghost cars or no cars in the area.
Read 4 remaining paragraphs