Uber Tracks Lyft Drivers with Hell's Help

Schtask

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Technical website "The Information" has published an article claiming that Uber is in league with the Lord of Darkness. Are you stunned? Neither am I. Through the use of spoofed rider accounts on the Lyft platform, Uber found that they were able to track the 8 closest Lyft drivers to the spoofed account. This program would from hence forth be named "Hell". What has Doom taught us about Hell ladies and gents? Doom taught us that Hell likes to spread. Once Uber realized what they had, they began to expand their operation by spamming fake Lyft riders in key areas. Since Lyft doesn't give their drivers dynamic tokens, Uber was able to learn driving habits and identify Lyft drivers who were also driving for Uber.This is also known as "double apping". With the "double appers" uncovered, Uber began to increase the number of riders being sent to those drivers and offer bonuses for giving a set number of rides per week. This was all done in an effort to get Lyft drivers working exclusively for Uber.
 
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See, I knew someone would get the reference, was going to put the video link but figured it would happen sooner or later. :p
 

kju1

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Is it really corporate espionage if the information is publicly available? Also the link to the story is paywalled.
 

collegeboy69us

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This is just a tech spin on age old tactics used by every large company, every mob, every government, use whatever information you have to your advantage.
 

1o57

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Crixus,

Awesome post, and the links were great. (Already knew Uber was sneaksy, but love your posting style...)

And bonus points for the KG/Kyle reference by using The D ;)
 

Gigus Fire

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I dunno. Sounds like they took advantage of a flaw in the lyft system "Lyft doesn't give their drivers dynamic tokens" and utilized public data to their advantage.
What is this though? Fraud? Deceptive business practices? I'm not sure how to quite address which laws they broke.

If they didn't break any laws, then good for them. I'm sure this is done all the time in many different competitive playing fields in general.
 

kju1

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I dunno. Sounds like they took advantage of a flaw in the lyft system "Lyft doesn't give their drivers dynamic tokens" and utilized public data to their advantage.
What is this though? Fraud? Deceptive business practices? I'm not sure how to quite address which laws they broke.

If they didn't break any laws, then good for them. I'm sure this is done all the time in many different competitive playing fields in general.

I am not sure that they broke any laws. Its not like they hacked into any lyft system. They signed up for accounts and spoofed their GPS locations (not illegal). Noticing that lyft operates in a manner that lets them identify their drivers isnt illegal since those tokens are basically "public". Depending on how you view "fair business practices" it might be unethical at best. But I dont think its that either. Lyft let this data out there and someone used it to their advantage.

Lets put it this way - if a customer had used these methods (lets assume for a moment they would work on Uber also) to track drivers from both service and provide a pay service to say get a ride faster or cheaper by analyzing driver patterns would it be any different?
 

Schtask

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Crixus,

Awesome post, and the links were great. (Already knew Uber was sneaksy, but love your posting style...)

And bonus points for the KG/Kyle reference by using The D ;)

Thanks man! Love the D. .....wait.
 
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Trepidati0n

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Illegal no...

Enough for massive civil lawsuit which will put them in a bad PR place...most likely.
 

kju1

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Yup. Totally different. It would be the same if the customers were offering incentives to other customers for only choosing Uber drivers.

But the legality is what was questioned - my point being is that its legal. Perhaps by some definitions not ethical.
 

Schtask

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But the legality is what was questioned - my point being is that its legal. Perhaps by some definitions not ethical.

I'm not a lawyer so I can't give an answer with any merit regarding definitives. Definitely unethical.
 

kju1

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I'm not a lawyer so I can't give an answer with any merit regarding definitives. Definitely unethical.

I am curious as to why you think its unethical. Personally I don't think it is - I think it was just a good use of the available data.
 

Schtask

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I am curious as to why you think its unethical. Personally I don't think it is - I think it was just a good use of the available data.

If they were just gathering the data, that would be fine. OSINT is used everywhere. It's the act of using data to offer incentives to Lyft drivers that wouldn't normally be offered to employees had that data not been present for the purposes of reducing Lyft's workforce. That is unethical.
 

kju1

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If they were just gathering the data, that would be fine. OSINT is used everywhere. It's the act of using data to offer incentives to Lyft drivers that wouldn't normally be offered to employees had that data not been present for the purposes of reducing Lyft's workforce. That is unethical.

Personally I disagree. Neither are employees of the respective companies and in any case its no different to me than finding out a contractor is getting paid more to do work for someone else but you want their time so you up your rates to get them to stick with you instead. I will agree to disagree on the ethics ;).
 

Schtask

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Personally I disagree. Neither are employees of the respective companies and in any case its no different to me than finding out a contractor is getting paid more to do work for someone else but you want their time so you up your rates to get them to stick with you instead. I will agree to disagree on the ethics ;).

You know...That's an excellent point. I had not considered that these "employees" are actually 1099. That does change things in my mind.
 
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MV75

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So they get everyone on uber and lyft goes out... SURPRISE BITCHES! WE DEPLOY OUR AUTONOMOUS CARS NOW! suckers.
 

Teenyman45

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And Lyft gets less

Don't forget Uber also creating fake accounts to send Lyft drivers on wild goose chases to non-existent riders. COmbine the two and the driver gets false data from Lyft while then getting a juicier offer Uber. Back when the US government actually cared about enforcing anti-competitive practices, this was the sort of thing people could go to jail for.
 

rudy

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If you are an Uber driver, whom probably was trying to be loyal to one company you just got screwed because now Uber favors unfaithful drivers what double dip with Lyft. So here comes the backlash. Uber thought they were stealing business from Lyft, but in the end what happens is this news story gets out and now tons of Uber drivers who were not double dipping go sign up for Lyft because they don't want rides priority sent to other drivers, then it increases Lyfts drivers and of course they will now do runs for Lyft as well.
 
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