Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Uber used secret program to track Lyft drivers

Uber used secret program to track Lyft drivers

According to an exclusive by The Information, Uber's top secret program called "Hell" allowed the company to track how many Lyft drivers were available for new rides, where they were and which drivers were driving for both the companies. Uber could then track the nearest Lyft drivers to the fake location.

California regulators have recommended that Uber be fined $1.13 million for failing to investigate and/or suspend drivers who are reported by a passenger to be intoxicated. "However, if true, these allegations are very concerning", a Lyft spokesperson told The Information.

Uber is positioning this as a way to attract driver who don't want to own their own auto, and who may be drawn to driving with the company as a means to pick up very occasional extra income, like those saving for an upcoming vacation.

A new report claims that Uber operated a top-secret software programme known as "Hell" that spied on and undermined its main rival, Lyft. Since then, the Uber representative said the company has improved its handling of complaints and record keeping, including working closely with the California Public Utilities Commission to make sure Uber is in compliance.

A driver displaying Uber and Lyft ride sharing signs on his vehicle windscreen in Santa Monica. The company's general managers, the people in charge of particular regions or cities, were not privy to the program, according to the report. In the same year, Lyft discovered more than 100 Uber employees hired and canceled Lyft rides, jeopardizing not only Lyft but also the drivers working for it through wasting drivers' time and fuel for the canceled rides. These could include breach of contract, unfair business practices, stealing trade secrets and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. But Lyft isn't backing down and may have the opportunity to gain some ground in light of Uber's recent controversies.

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