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Uber has been sued by a Lyft driver over its secret monitoring software, an algorithm known internally as “Hell”, which tracked the locations of drivers who worked for rival Lyft.

The class action filed in California on Monday accuses US-based ride-hailing company Uber of violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by monitoring drivers for rival Lyft without their consent. Uber declined to comment on the allegations.

Uber’s “Hell” software, which was first revealed last month by tech news site The Information, monitored the locations of Lyft drivers by posing as a passenger and scraping the locations of nearby cars. The program was discontinued more than a year ago.

One benefit of the “Hell” software was that it allowed Uber to track which drivers were simultaneously driving for Uber and Lyft, information it could use to lure those drivers away from its rival with higher bonus payments.

The plaintiff, Lyft driver Michael Gonzalez, has asked the court to grant class-action status to all Lyft drivers in California who may have been monitored.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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