Lyft driver Michael Gonzales filed a lawsuit against Uber following the revelation that the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company was tracking him and other Lyft drivers with the so-called "Hell" software for over two years. The plaintiff — represented by law firm Zimmerman Reed — filed a class action lawsuit with a California court on Monday, alleging that Uber was in clear violation of the United States Electronic Communications Privacy Act by tracking drivers of a competing company without acquiring any kind of consent. Gonzales and his legal team are currently trying to obtain an approval for their class action lawsuit that would seek damages for all of Lyft's affected drivers in California.
Uber's tracking program was reportedly active for approximately two years, having been discontinued last year due to the rapidly increasing costs of running it, The Information reported in March. Apart from sabotaging Lyft by ordering and canceling fake rides, Uber allegedly used the software to identify individuals who were practicing "double-apping," i.e. driving for both Uber and Lyft. The San Francisco-based company would then use that information to incentivize double-appers to leave Lyft and drive exclusively for Uber, industry insiders claimed in March. Uber hasn't issued an official comment on the matter to date, but if the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approves the aforementioned lawsuit, the tech giant will have little choice but to defend itself from those accusations in public. Refer to the source link beneath this writing to see the original lawsuit that Gonzales's legal team filed yesterday.
The class action lawsuit against Uber marks yet another legal issue for the ride-hailing giant that has recently been enduring a whole set of scandals that resulted in a number of key executives leaving the company, which is why the firm is now on the lookout for a Chief Operating Officer that's supposed to help CEO Travis Kalanick stabilize the situation at Uber. The California-based company was hit with an even more serious lawsuit in February when Alphabet's self-driving division Waymo alleged that its former employee stole some of its trade secrets in an effort to advance its own autonomous vehicle technologies that ended up being acquired by Uber. An update on Uber's upcoming legal battles is expected to follow shortly.