The Latest Victim of Uber's Disruption May Be Itself

"In Rosenblat and Calo’s view, government agencies like the Federal Trade Commission need to more actively step up and investigate possible abuses by peer-to-peer platform operators. Earlier this year, Uber agreed to pay $20 million to the agency, which charged that the company’s advertising had misled recruits about how much income they could expect to earn as drivers. Still, they would prefer to see the FTC dig deeper, prying into their digital back-ends rather than relying on publicly posted documentation. “So much misleading and unfairness can happen away from view, designed into system,” Calo says, comparing Greyball to the emissions-cheating software that got Volkswagen into hot water last year."

"However disturbing, several legal scholars TIME consulted were hesitant to judge Greyball’s legality, saying it occupies something of a, well, grey area. Even if the program doesn’t violate the law, “that doesn’t mean it isn’t troubling,” says Elizabeth Joh, a law professor at University of California Davis. “It’s a deliberate attempt to thwart—not just evade—law enforcement,” she says, comparing it to the license plate-obscuring sprays some people use to escape surveillance."