The system has reportedly been called Ripley, after the character played by Sigourney Weaver in the Alien film franchise who declares the best way to defeat the aliens: "Nuke the entire site from orbit".
It also mentions another system, called uLocker, which it says was contemplated for times when Uber wanted to be "less transparent".
SAN FRANCISCO - Uber confirmed Thursday that it once used technology to shield data from law enforcement during unexpected raids of its offices outside the USA, another example of the company using questionable tactics in its pursuit of market share. "For instance, if an employee loses their laptop, we have the ability to remotely log them out of Uber's systems to prevent someone else from accessing private user data through that laptop", Uber said in a statement to The Register.
The ride-sharing company Uber confirms it had technology to shield company data when law enforcement raided offices outside the U.S.
Now, as Bloomberg reports, Khosrowshahi must dodge the fallout from the news that Uber regularly employed a secret program to shut down its computer systems and evade authorities in the event of a police raid.
Uber doesn't have a very good relationship with regulators, and by that I mean it seems to do everything it can to avoid letting them do any investigation into the company. "When it comes to government investigations, it's our policy to cooperate with all valid searches and requests for data". One such method it was at one point considering was the use of software that would present a fake version of a standard login screen.
Under the program, which was discontinued a year ago, Uber created fake Lyft customer accounts to seek rides, allowing it to track nearby Lyft drivers and ride prices, the Journal said.
Bloomberg's report makes no mention of use of the tool in US offices. Those rides would be canceled or never arrive.
Uber said in an April 21 letter to the city that its own investigation indicated that Greyball was used "exceedingly sparingly" in Portland.
Uber has acknowledged it used Greyball to counter regulators working with the company's opponents to entrap its drivers. A court order subsequently forced Uber to shut down its service for operating without proper licenses. She said Uber's guidance to employees bars use of the tool where it isn't legal.