The company is being accused of having technology which lets its drivers evade police.
(CN) – The Justice Department had opened a criminal investigation into Uber Technologies’ use of a software tool, known as “Greyball” that helps its drivers evade local authorities trying to clamp down on the popular ride service.
The existence of the criminal probe was first reported by Reuters.
Both the Justice Department and Uber have declined to comment on the matter.
The Greyball software was originally developed to help drivers ferret out illegitimate ride requests, but it also included a feature that obscured the true location of Uber cars, such as when a new feature is being tested or when drivers are called to high crime locations.
But officials in some communities, including Portland, Oregon, say Uber drivers have been using the technology to venture, undetected, into areas where Uber service has not yet been approved.
Uber reportedly told its drivers to stop using Greyball for this purpose after The New York Times revealed its existence in March.
Watch the video below to see what has happened in the past when police pull over Uber drivers: