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Uber allegedly used Surfcam spyware to poach drivers from rivals in Australia

20 Mar 2019

 

Uber allegedly used a spyware program to steal competitor driver details with the aim of putting their rival out of business according to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Company.

An anonymous senior source at Uber said in the report that in 2015 the American ride-hailing firm developed and deployed a program called Surfcam. This software allowed Uber to take information such as the names, location, and registrations of competing drivers.

According to the report the controversial firm reportedly used the data captured from Surfcam to poach employees and undermine other ride sharing firms like Australia’s GoCatch app. 


GoCatch has been a major rival to Uber since launching on the Australian market in 2014.  

It’s not the first time Surfcam or other spyware programs have been used by Uber. Back in 2017 Bloomberg first revealed the use of Surfcam to in Singapore, however ABC’s report is the first to highlight its alleged use in Australia too.

The most infamous piece of software used by Uber still remains a program called 'Greyball'. This technology was used to disguise Uber drivers from local regulators and law enforcement who attempted to crack down on ride-sharing. Greyball was used in London and was one of the reasons they initially lost their operators licence in 2017 which they have since won back. 

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