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Uber Under Probe For Allegedly Tracking Lyft Drivers

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Federal authorities are investigating whether Uber illegally used software to interfere with rival ride-hailing company Lyft in order to gain advantage in markets where the two companies operated, according to media reports.

The investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney's office in New York is focused on a special program nicknamed "Hell," which allegedly allowed Uber to track drivers in order to attract and recruit drivers to its platform instead of Lyft.

The program is said to have enabled Uber to see how much Lyft drivers charged passengers for rides. It also provided data to Uber on drivers who worked at both companies so that it could potentially lure them with cash incentives and quit Lyft.

A spokesman for Uber said that the company was cooperating with the investigation and has discontinued use of the software.

After the existence of Hell was revealed by technology news site The Information in April this year, Lyft drivers had filed a class action lawsuit against Uber for allegedly invading privacy and intercepting electronic information.

Uber decided to remove a controversial feature from its app that tracked user locations up to five minutes after a trip, Reuters reported in late August, citing Uber's chief security officer. The move to remove the feature was part of the ride-services company's efforts to fix its poor reputation for customer privacy.

The move to push customer privacy comes as Uber attempts to recover from a series of crisis that resulted in the ouster of its Chief Executive Travis Kalanick as well as other top executives.

by RTT Staff Writer

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