Uber’s Licence stripped for serving in London by “Transport for London” due to lack of accounting for Corporate Responsibility.
Amongst a series of its business tenure, Uber adds another batch of shame on its wall. This time it’s the regulatory body for Transportation, “Transport for London” or TFL is the one who delivered a strong British style right hook to Uber.
uk vs uber TechScoop Art
Techscoop art

The “Uber Licence Issue”.

The Taxi-for-Hire Service Company, Uber, applied for licence renewal in London City but it was rejected on grounds that they are not “Fit and Proper” ride-hailing service for Londoners.


The tough decision nothing short of a fortnight before of Uber’s expiry of its current licence. Uber’s licence is set to expire on 30th September 2017, and till than Londoners will see Uber on their roads. Although, the Uber can appeal in TFL or in Court, which they said they will, which will allow Uber to continue their business in London till the case is in the appeal process.Grounds for suspension of Uber’s Licence as mentioned in the Press Release by TFL but it has been removed by TfL’s twitter handle.

The Decision received a mixed reaction from public, drivers and minsters. While a part of Twitter users dismayed on the idea of banning Uber, a greater part of Twitter user base if not majority, was calm and okay with the decision. Uber is an economical option to London’s regular Taxi Service which cost at least 300 to 400 % more than Uber. There are 40000 Uber drivers in London alone, serving around 3.5 million people. It is safe to assume corporation like Uber won’t take it easy.
Uber’ Licence stripped in London due to lack of Corporate Responsibility
Twitter’s reaction on Uber License issue


Uber has been subjected to criticism since its inception to this day. Labor unions, Human rights activists, Politicians and Social Workers have been criticizing uber for its low pay payout of the drivers, Sexism at the workplace, sexual harassment of women and Rape inside uber taxies around the world.
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The decision by Transport for London was backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, employment rights campaigners, and the trade body for the capital’s black-cab drivers, who have been staunch opponents of the US-based company.
TfL argued that it was absolutely mandatory for all Transportation Providers to adhere the basic requirements of a public transportation provider. Uber has been dodging TfL and Government’s orders / requests for delivering the minimum basic requirement.


The Five Things that led TfL to Cancel Uber’s licence:


1.      Inefficacy toward Crimes in Uber Taxies: It is not a news now that Uber taxies have been subjected to criminal activities, not as much as regular transportation yet there have been rapes inside Uber Taxies. Later investigations show that Uber did not properly vet the driver’s background history, and only after the serious crimes such as Rapes become more frequent, only than Uber made background history check little more rigorous.


2.      Sexual Harassment at the workplace:  When a former Uber Engineer, Susan Fowler, blown the lid off Uber’s Sexists office culture, it was revealed the Top leadership committed heinous acts himself in his previous employment.


3.      Breaking user’s trust and apparently the law: Uber’s Asia Pacific region’s president obtained medical records of a woman who was raped in an Uber taxi in India. Not only he obtained the records but also shown them to top executives. This action leads to his departure from Uber.


4.      Uber’s questionable methods for obtaining Medical Certificates for drivers: In their statement, the TfL said that it had rejected the company’s application to renew its licence because “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility” in relation to reporting serious criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates and driver background checks.


So, as it turned out that a driver can apply for Uber, and after submitting basic papers for registering you are good to drive an Uber. The company will, later on, verify driver’s documents and background verification. During this time of “verification”, Uber couldn’t care less about people who will take their service.


5.      The “Greyball” matter: Greyball is a software that is developed by Uber. They claimed that it has been developed for “Identify riders who are violating their terms of service”, but New York Times disclosed* that the Greyball is for dodging government regulators in US, Australia, South Korea and China. This was done by Uber to evade law enforcement agencies who try to track them breaking the local laws. It was done by Uber by following ways:


a.       Geofencing – If a user tries to hail ride near a government building, he/she might be a potential Law Enforcement Agent. Such users will be flagged and their activities will be monitored by Uber.


b.      Identifying devices – If a device belongs to a government agency or a government agent they are put on special alert, and deny service at times. Uber keeps data of such devices that are often used by government agencies.


c.       Mining credit cards DB – Uber mines credit card details to know if they belong to a government employee or an agency. Leading to dodge such users.


d.      Social Media stalking – Uber employees look for possible individuals in an area to identify if they are from a law enforcement agency if they found such people they flag them in Greyball.


e.   Eyeballing –    If a rider reopens an uber app more than usual, he is flagged as a potential threat in Greyball.


As of now, you won’t see Uber disappear from roads of London. As long as Uber’s licence plea is in the appeal process, it can continue its business in London. Uber has 21 days to appeal in TfL and they can also go to Court of law.
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