Nov 28, 2019

Uber struggles with 'open secret' of shared driver accounts

Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Since London decided to revoke Uber's operating license, the city's transportation regulator found that 14,000 rides in late 2018 and early 2019 were completed by unverified drivers who had "rented" a real driver's account, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Uber says shared driver accounts are a global problem, including in the U.S. An Uber spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal the company has adjusted its policies in London to combat the issue, but it still not a "silver bullet."

  • Uber is alerted if a verified driver changes their photo to prevent fraud or if multiple devices are used for logging into the same account.

How it works: Account renting is an "open secret" with individuals and verified drivers often discussing it in private social media groups or messaging apps used by drivers, per the WSJ.

  • A former Uber driver told the WSJ most people who rent out accounts rather than getting their own do so because they would likely fail a background check, don't have a license or can't afford a car.

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London declines to renew Uber's operating license

Photo: Olly Curtis/Future via Getty Images

London's transportation agency declined Monday to renew Uber's license to operate, citing a "pattern of failures by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk."

Why it matters: London is one of Uber's biggest markets, so this is a significant blow to the company.

Uber commentArrowNov 25, 2019

Uber is testing ad displays for its cars

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some Uber drivers have independently been putting ad displays on top of their cars, but now the ride-hailing company has teamed with startup Cargo for a small test of officially deploying ads to drivers in Atlanta.

Why it matters: This could be a new revenue source for Uber, which has been under heavy pressure to move towards profitability.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019

Podcast: Uber's sexual assault record

Uber has issued its first-ever safety report, which discloses that there were over 3,000 sexual assaults during rides in 2018. Dan digs in with the New York Times' Mike Isaac on what the disclosure means for riders, Uber and the future of transportation.

Go deeper: Uber's first-ever safety report cites 6,000 sex assaults in 2 years