Uber’s hit a lot of bumps in the road lately. The ride-share company was met with protests after trying to capitalize on civil unrest; its CEO turned a leave of absence into not-so-funemployment; and even Madeintoyou is no longer into them. But the company hasn’t just been holed up somewhere listening to The O’Jays “She Used To Be My Girl” while its customers drifted to other ride-share apps. According to The Wall Street Journal, Uber maybe engaged in a lil’ corporate espionage, and is now under investigation by the FBI.
Apparently, there was some unofficial program at Uber called “Hell,” which interestingly enough, had nothing to do with its former CEO skeeving out employees (and customers) with suggestions for office hookups. WSJ cites “people familiar with the matter,” who say that Uber would create fake customer accounts on Lyft so it could see how many drivers were in the area, as well as estimates for rides. Not only that, but Uber took note of drivers who worked for both companies, and would offer them “cash incentives” to ditch the pink mustache crowd.
The program is no longer operating, but Uber might just be entering Hell, as federal investigators are wondering whether these actions constitute “unauthorized access of a computer.” This is only the latest questionable practice by Uber that’s drawn the attention of the FBI—the feds are also looking into “Greyball,” a software tool that helped drivers “evade local transportation regulators,” as well as possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.