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Uber Class Action Lawsuit: Was It Spying on Lyft?

By on May 3, 2017
Uber class action

Actually, the ride-hailing company Uber is facing a class action lawsuit. According to the Uber class action, the company spied on Lyft drivers secretly. The suit claims that Uber did this with the help of a secret software, known as ‘’Hell.’’ The Uber class action lawsuit alleges Uber of gaining unauthorized information concerning the locations of Lyft drivers and their unique identification as well.

Michael Gonzales is the former Lyft driver who filed Uber class action in the Northern District of California court. Gonzales used to work as a driver for Lyft between 2012 and 2014. Caleb Marker and Hannah P. Belknap of Zimmerman Reed and Mark Burton, Michael McShane of Audet & Partners are representing the plaintiff.

So, the suit states that the defendant violated federal and state privacy laws. These laws are the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, the California Invasion of Privacy Act and the California Unfair Competition Law.

The plaintiff is seeking to represent a class of any person in the U.S. who worked as a driver for Lyft and Uber obtained their private information. The company did it by accessing through Lyft’s computer systems with the help of special software.

Gonzales filed a privacy class action lawsuit against three related companies. These companies are the following: Uber Technologies Inc., Uber USA LLC and Rasier-CA.

The complaint notes that according to public reports, about 315 000 individuals worked as drivers for Lyft in the U.S. Most probably, about 60 percent worked for Uber as well. That’s why the number of national class members may be more than 126000.

It’s worth to point out that Uber also faced class actions in the past. The company was accused of treating drivers as freelancers instead of employees.

Uber’s secret software program ‘’Hell’’

According to the Uber class action, the company used a special software-based program for creating Lyft rider accounts. With the help of the information mentioned in these accounts, Uber spied on Lyft drivers. Thus, ‘’the secret software’’ referred to as ‘’Hell’’ assisted Uber in having the access to a real-time map of its competition.

Thus, the lawsuit states that the giant ride-hailing company succeeded in tracking Lyft drivers’ locations. Gonzales notes that Uber continued using this software between 2014 and 2016.

The report states that Uber sent rides to drivers who used both applications. As a matter of fact, they did this hoping to convince drivers to leave Lyft. As a result, the program had a negative impact on Lyft drivers, as the total number of drivers was reduced. The consequence is that Lyft was inhibited from offering cheap and quick rides.

The giant ride-hailing company didn’t have any comment on the lawsuit.

 

 

 

 

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