Uber Facing Criminal Probe Due to “Espionage”

Query is delaying ongoing lawsuit between Waymo and Uber.

by on Dec.01, 2017

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who has faced one problem after another since his arrival at the company, is now dealing with a criminal investigation.

Federal prosecutors are apparently probing allegations that Uber engaged in “espionage” to uncover the trade secrets of rivals.

The investigation has prompted a federal judge to delay a trial in the mega lawsuit that Google and its self-driving-car unit have filed against Uber.

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Waymo has charged that Uber hired away a senior Google engineer to steal key secrets about its Lidar system. Waymo CEO John Krafcik has said the Lidar unit is a vital piece of the company’s self-driving car system. 

Additionally, Waymo has charged that Uber stole in the trade secrets to gain information about Uber’s advanced self-driving technology. Self-driving technology is expected to make ride-sharing services, a service pioneered by Uber, substantially more profitable for company’s offering the service.

(Uber under fire as it belatedly admits hackers stole data. Click Here for the story.)

The U.S. Justice Department routinely declines to comment on criminal investigations, such as the probe into Uber’s conduct. However, its existence came to light during a routine hearing called to set a schedule for Waymo vs. Uber trial.

The investigation was started after a former Uber employee, Richard Jacobs, Uber’s director of global intelligence, sent what was described as 37-page letter to federal authorities. In the letter, Jacobs said he was dismissed by Uber after he tried to halt the misconduct by Uber employees.

(Uber wants to launch flying cars over Los Angeles by 2028 for the Olympics. To read more, Click Here.)

The company’s legal problems, coupled with trouble with the conduct of its drivers and regulatory problems, ranging from spats with local communities to court ruling that effectively barred Uber from operating in London unless it agrees to treat drivers as full-time employees and offer them vacation and other benefits.

Unber also failed to disclose a major data breach – even after paying ransom to hackers – that left its customers credit card numbers in the hands of potential thieves.

(Uber finally seemed on the mend after months of trouble. Click Here for the story.)

The troubles have exacerbated the Uber’s growing financial losses that have forced it to turn partners such as SoftBank, which is demanding a larger share of the company in exchange for its continuing financial support.

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One Response to “Uber Facing Criminal Probe Due to “Espionage””

  1. Sophie Grant says:

    My daughter is at uni in Brighton, and she loves the place.

    Uber Brighton & Hove. Uber driver advanced himself upon my daughter on sat night. She was the last to get out of the cab, and he made a pass at her. I have reported incident to Brighton police.

    Brighton Police advised us not to use Uber, as they are unlicensed drivers, and could be any tom,dick or harry driving one.

    So the residents and visitors of Brighton & Hove are made aware of this. I am not at all happy & disgusted of what the Uber driver attempted to do to my daughter. I am Brighton born and bred, and am amazed how Brighton & Hove City Council can allow these unlicensed Uber drivers to operate in our town. It is very wrong, and putting the public at risk, compromising the their safety.