The FBI Is Investigating the Uber Program That Allegedly Spied on Lyft Drivers

By Melanie Ehrenkranz on at

Less than a week into the new job and Uber’s new CEO faces yet another federal investigation into the company. Sounds like hell. It is. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into secret software Uber used between 2014 and 2016 that was internally referred to as “Hell,” the Wall Street Journal reported. The programme could reportedly track Lyft drivers and was allegedly used to lure drivers away from its rival and back to working for Uber.

An Uber spokesperson confirmed in an email to Gizmodo that the company is cooperating with the investigation, and noted that the “Hell” programme is now defunct, linking to an article about a related lawsuit a judge dismissed last week.

The new head of Uber Dara Khosrowshahi started on Tuesday, inheriting a number of challenges right out of the gate. The FBI investigation into “Hell” is just the latest of a litany of legal troubles the ride-sharing company has faced of late. The Department of Justice is investigating whether Uber violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—which prohibits the bribery of foreign officials—as well as another secret spying software called “Greyball.” The programme was used to identify and evade government regulators who were investigating Uber.

Khosrowshahi also joins the company as it deals with the ongoing Benchmark Capital and Waymo lawsuits, not to mention a vacuous executive suite and a serious work culture problem.