Owing to some complexities witnessed by Uber, many cities do not welcome Uber.
But Uber has devised a strategy to overcome this problem. It makes use of a tool called Greyball. It is a secretive tool with the help of which Uber blocks the officials from the places where the services are illegal. Uber has been using this technology since the year 2014 and is operating and picking up rides even in the cities where it is not allowed.
Greyball operates in the following way. It collects all the data from in-app and identifies and targets specific individuals (for example, the law enforcement officers). If these officials make an attempt to hail Uber, the app will perform two operations. It will either show that no Uber is available or it will show fake Uber cars as it is a mock-up of the application. The idea of Greyball is to hide Uber cars from certain users.
A spokesperson from Uber stated in an email that with the help of this strategy they are able to eliminate the fraudulent users who are responsible for the violation of their services and the terms in addition to getting rid of their ride requests. Such people have various malicious intentions like harming the car driver physically, disrupting Uber services because of competition, and entrapping drivers by colluding with officials with the help of stings.
All the cities where the operation of Uber is not legal, the police officials try to hail the cars for a ride and then they ticket the car drivers and also impound the vehicles. The Greyball tool protects the Uber cars from such activities.
In addition to this, Greyball also keeps the cabs safe from unwanted users and identifies them on the basis of their credit card, online, and social profile information. This information was provided by the New York Times.
Uber has adopted the methodology of pairing the passengers with the drivers with the help of an app. But it has a history that shows that it interferes frequently with the law making bodies and does not abide by the set regulations. Uber currently operates in 400 cities spanning across 70 countries. Bur observers have noticed that the company has often launched features and products without getting the permits approved and that is the precise reason it invites more trouble.
Comodo’s global security research scientist and former NSA analyst, Kenneth Gears has said that the company has reached the status that identifies it as a cyber technology that is disruptive and that is the reason it messes with the legality.