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Ex-Employee Accuses Uber Of Data Scraping, Wiretapping, And Physical Surveillance To Gain Competitive Advantage

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Uber's legal woes continue as new evidence presented to the court reveals more information about their alleged practices that violate several laws.

The letter was reportedly sent by Richard Jacobs, a former Uber security specialist. The details included in the documents reveal some of the company's supposed practices in order to gain a leg up against the competition. Some of the supposedly unfair activities include database hacking, wiretapping conversations, and even going as far as impersonating other individuals.

By Any Means Possible

The 37-page document written by the aforementioned former employee was unsealed by a federal judge last Friday. It purportedly contains evidence that can also help with another investigation related to Uber. The company also has an ongoing court battle with Waymo, a Google-owned startup that specializes in autonomous driving technology for cars.

The latter claims that ride-sharing firm stole confidential data that could threaten the security of its self-driving car production, Washington Post reported.

Public Perspective Matters

A few weeks ago, a court hearing involving Jacobs already shared some of the company's notorious malpractices. The recently-opened document included more details about some of their shady practices. All of these allegedly happened during the tenure of Travis Kalanick, the firm's former CEO who has since been replaced by Dara Khosrowshahi.

Several scandals that even include reports of sexual assault within their offices were also reported and painted a different picture of the company's culture.

Questionable Activities

A detailed description of their alleged practices reveals that spying on the competition was a real thing. Individuals were supposedly hired overseas to keep tabs on their competitor's executives. It was even noted that Uber had agents pretend to be taxi drivers in order to knowingly sabotage the competition.

Another of their notable actions involve hacking their competitors and gathering data from unprotected source codes in their system, which is commonly known as "fusking," says Bloomberg. Michael Risch, a Villanova University School of Law professor, points out that fusking can be considered illegal under certain U.S. laws related to network security.

What They Have To Say

According to Uber's legal team, they believe that the letter written by Jacobs' lawyer might be a form of extortion. He already received a $4.5 million payout from the company as a settlement.

However, his recent actions led people to speculate about the exact reasons for breaking his silence. Others suggest that he might be a discontented employee that wanted a better deal while some suspect that the firm's unlawful practices might not agree with his morals.

The final verdict remains to be seen as the investigation regarding Uber's recent activities as well as with Waymo are still ongoing.

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