Uber: We Will Stop Using That Creepy Thing Now That People Know We Have It

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Uber’s strange tool that was used to undermine regulators probing the company—the so-called Greyball feature—can no longer be used by employees to root out investigators and ban them from using the ride-hailing giant’s app, according to the company.

The Greyball feature was revealed last week by The New York Times, in a story that cited four former and current employees who explained it was used to undermine efforts by authorities in cities across the world. In a statement to the Times, Uber’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, said the company was conducting an internal review on how Greyball has been used, saying it is now “expressly” prohibited from being used to target action by local regulators.


Weirdly, Sullivan said that it “will take some time to ensure this prohibition is fully enforced” because of the way Uber’s systems are configured—but a spokesperson didn’t elaborate to the Times as to why it couldn’t happen sooner.

After what’s been a seemingly endless spree of tumult for the company, maybe it’s starting to turn a corner. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said last week that he’s looking to hire a chief operating officer as the company’s No. 2 in charge, and the California DMW on Wednesday said Uber has secured permits to test self-driving cars in the state, just a few months after the ride-hailing service was booted from the state for refusing to obtain the $150 permit.

Do you have information about Uber you want to pass along? Reach me at ryan.felton@jalopnik.com, find my contact info for Signal here, or send us a line via SecureDrop.

Senior Reporter, Jalopnik/Special Projects Desk

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Ash78, voting early and often

However, Walmart is still allowed to hold mass public executions whenever they find Target employees Mystery Shopping in their stores. It’s quite a spectacle. America is better than Rome ever was.