I have no idea if they do it to each other though. I'd guess not.
To make this comment even more meta: I leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out how you can use this technique on Uber to get competitive intelligence about, for example, how many total restaurants are currently signed up for UberEats, how many have ever signed up and the rate at which more are signing up in each region. The UberEats mobile APIs offer a way to do this, though individual restaurants use non-sequential UUIDs; do this every day, break it out into a timeseries, and compare it to GrubHub. Voila, you've turned their game against them.
Unless your are in New York but I guess that local pizza wins. Maybe a few downtown areas as well.
Whether or not you like the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, it is the law and Uber is likely to be in contravention.
It's an investigation, not a definite thing. The FBI isn't charging anyone with anything, they just are saying "let's have a good look here and see if something illegal has gone on". There's lots of reasons to think they might be right, but I leave it to them to make the call.
We should want investigations into possible crimes, especially when the overall victims are consumers who will have less competition for their money.
Of course. That said, though, I wish they'd keep this sort of thing private so that there is more chance folks are actually innocent until proven guilty instead of having public opinion labeling you as such before the trial.
It's also going to be pretty unenforceable in the era of social media.
We can do things like keep mugshots of unconvicted people out of public view, especially on police websites and media outlets. We can quit putting folks' names on the front page when covering a story. Sure, publish arrests the cops have made with a general location, withholding people's names and addresses. We can have all cops wear body cams that may or may not be recording and release them to the public once we've blurred the person's identity.
Some of this would take changing a system. Stiff penalties to cops that break the law and are convicted. Better training. A chip sewn into uniforms (which can be laundered at the station with no need to take them home to protect the police during their personal life) to track movements. A bail system that actually looks to see if someone is a flight risk and limits on how long we can keep folks in jail. A robust public defender system (it is a right to have a lawyer, after all, even though some states make destitute folks pay for it nonetheless).
We could start public service announcements asking folks not to judge folks before they are found guilty with evidence. We could use official, licensed services to do background checks and disallow arrest records to be part of the check (probably a few exceptions for security reasons). Train police officers a bit better so they minimally can be aware of their natural biases and work against them.
I'm not saying this list is perfect nor all inclusive, but it is a start.
and I'd guess more places in Europe also.
Some law enforcement agency has already determined that there is something worth investigating, but they don't have all the tools required to investigate it fully, so it has escalated to the FBI.
For law enforcement an FBI investigation is at least the equivalent in development terms of a priority ticket with Managers subscribing and asking for daily updates.
Nevermind that the ride I canceled was 10+ minutes away, and was canceled immediately upon being booked.
Without cancellation fees, drivers would have to eat the cost of whatever progress they made towards you.
While the policy varies by city, typically an UberX or UberBLACK vehicle can be cancelled for free within 2 minutes.
UberPOOL rides typically get billed cancellations immediately, because the canceling rider may have also added to the ETA of an Uber rider already in the vehicle.
Uber will occasionally waive the cancellation fee when the ETA of a POOL pickup is significantly higher than the prediction given pre-booking.
If you believe you may be eligible for a refund, you can contact Uber support. Read more here: https://help.uber.com/h/24e75a3b-cf44-44e4-abae-8c2dce3b07a3
Sorta? So one of the last times I cancelled a ride the driver was 8 minutes away which, not ideal, was fine. The problem was the driver was sitting at a restaurant. After 15 minutes passed he was still 8 minutes away but occasionally his car icon would move a little here and there (but staying at the restaurant).
I cancelled and it charged me a cancellation fee. Fortunately, after talking to a few friends of mine, it seems no matter why you get the cancellation fee (your fault or not) they will immediately refund it with credits if you complain.
Pretty aggravating experience, however.
The situation you describe happens pretty rarely--Uber has done over five billion trips in seven years, and typically drivers are fairly intent on finding their rider quickly and delivering a five-star experience.
In the future, perhaps various improvements to the product can mitigate the situation you describe. For example, Uber uses accelerometer data from the driver phone to improve ride safety. https://eng.uber.com/telematics/
If you have any thoughts on further improving the Uber experience, feel free to reach out.
Statistically maybe but around in the East Bay I have this happen with an Uber or Lyft driver almost once a week. The time I mentioned was just more extreme than the others (typically I wait and they start moving after a few minutes).
Can you put a number on that? It's anecdata but I feel like watching my friends request Ubers it's like 10% of requests. It's even worse at the airport. Adding extra padding time to account for failed requests is a fairly regular use pattern.
I just really love the company. I only left because my best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world and I wanted to start a startup.
Although if the startup doesn't take off... I'd definitely consider going back to Uber.
No, without it, Uber would have to eat the cost of whatever progress drivers made towards the rider.
You tell the drivers to go somewhere (And punish them when they don't) - it's on Uber to pay them.
Automatically taking responsibility for all cancellations--whether malicious or not--would be a vector for fraud and abuse.
The fact that they, by default, delegate this to the customer is incredibly shitty.
If you're a rider or driver with a couple hundred trips, we can be sure that you're legitimate... unless your account has been hacked. Uber accounts are especially valuable to hackers, so we can imagine some percentage of legitimate accounts are making illegitimate ride requests.
If you're a first-time driver, then Uber has done a background check and a vehicle inspection, but there aren't any rider ratings, accelerometer data, etc. yet.
If you're a first-time rider using https://m.uber.com/ to take a ride on a cash-payments enabled product... then there isn't a whole lot of data to go on.
You can read more about what Uber does to prevent fraud at https://eng.uber.com/tag/fraud/
If you have tons of cool thoughts on fraud engineering and are interested in implementing those thoughts on a world-class platform, you can find fraud engineering-related jobs at https://www.uber.com/careers/list/?city=all&country=all&keyw...
You can have all the data in the world and still make bad decisions.
Sometimes it's cheaper to just pay the customer rather than hiring more engineers to work out a fraud detection algorithm.
I think Uber has realized this.
The email they sent me even confirms that. They must code their systems to still charge the fee even when they say they wont:
For a criminal probe such as this, any possible fines generally go into the administration's coffers. I know many people like to believe that prosecutors may be motivated by that money, the people making decisions on prosecution (US attorneys in this case) are so far removed from the general budget of the federal government that it's an absurd idea. The amounts are also negligible in the scheme of things.
Then, there are class action lawsuits, where the settlement is usually divided among a large number of citizen that were actually harmed, and a rather big chunk goes to the lawyer.
Note that the latter is also kinda how the system is supposed to work: almost by definition, class action lawsuits are used in cases where each individual was harmed only slightly, making an individual lawsuit too much of a hassle. The lawyers take on most of the risk of the trial.
In both cases, it's more important where the money is coming from than where it's going: the preventative effects of such costs far outstrips the importance of healing the actual harm that occurred.
In ny, the mayor used bank settlement funds to buy iPads for police. It was a significant amount of money.
Mortgage settlements were large and went to various administrative entities including prosecutors office.
And would that make redundant a class-action suit by Lyft shareholders?
I think I'm okay with this trajectory of scraping being legally acceptable so long as no meaningful harm is done to the entity being scraped.
Intent clearly also matters, and is easy to infer in many cases - scraping information looks quite a bit different than feeding a competitor's dispatch database with garbage events. Although I would love to hear a creative lawyer's story about how that was actually benign.
If you're scraping data, make sure you go out of your way to be nice to their servers. With some fragile sites, it is easier than you think to knock them over, and you really want it to appear that you're going out of your way to not cause problems. (Also, look for another role - maintaining scrapers is miserable.)
Edit: Ok. I realised this doesn't really work for WSJ. My bad.