Taxi Driver Online

UK cab trade debate and advice
It is currently Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:32 am

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 46139
Location: 1066 Country
Uber's second London legal challenge gets underway

Today Uber will appear in a Westminster court for a second time, appealing a previous ruling which banned it from operating in London over safety concerns.

Transport for London (TfL) stripped Uber of its licence again last year, alleging a failure to protect its customers when using the service. Uber has been allowed to continue to operate while the appeal is ongoing.

TfL said it had discovered more than 14,000 trips were made on the app between 2018 and 2019 by drivers using fake identities, at least one of which had previously had their licence suspended.

The two sides will spend the next four days in court, where Uber will seek to prove it has made a number of changes to its systems and leadership.

It implemented a new facial recognition system in April to help prevent drivers from sharing their accounts and cars by changing their photos, and installed an in-app button to allow users to call emergency services.

Uber first lost its licence in London in 2017, and had since been operating on a 15-month probationary licence. It then received a two-month licence in September last year, before failing to convince authorities it should have a future in the capital.

Uber has more than 45,000 drivers in London, while also operating separate businesses in food delivery and dockless bikes.

Over 3.5m Londoners use the app’s car services, while it faces rising competition from rivals such as Ola, Bolt and Freenow.

Globally the company has said pandemic-related costs are at around $1.8bn, as use of its ride-hailing services plummeted. Rides in the most recent quarter fell to 737m worldwide, down from 1.6bn in the same period last year.

It is not known when a ruling will be handed down after this week’s appeal. Should it not be successful, Uber will be given 21 days to make another appeal to a higher court.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:47 pm
Posts: 14530
Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
As I understand it even if they lose as long as they lodge yet another appeal they can carry on.

_________________
Taxis Are Public Transport too

Join the campaign to get April fools jokes banned for 364 days a year !


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:34 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 8:15 pm
Posts: 8537
edders23 wrote:
As I understand it even if they lose as long as they lodge yet another appeal they can carry on.


So a strategy of eternal appeals is their cunning plan.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 46139
Location: 1066 Country
edders23 wrote:
As I understand it even if they lose as long as they lodge yet another appeal they can carry on.

Indeed.

And the same would apply to any of us.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 46139
Location: 1066 Country
Uber touts safety updates in second day of London court battle

Uber has told a London court that it has addressed Transport for London’s concerns over the safety of its passengers through a number of changes to its platform and policies.

TfL refused to grant Uber an extension on its licence to operate in London at the end of last year, following what it called a “pattern of failures” by the ride-hailing giant to protect users.

The regulator alleged at the time more than 14,000 trips were taken between 2018 and 2019 by unauthorised drivers, using loopholes in Uber’s systems to share apps and cars by changing their identification photos.

During the second day of arguments, which is expected to run until Thursday, Uber said it had improved systems to verify drivers’ insurance documents and launched real-time identification in the app.

“The energy and responsiveness which [Uber]… has demonstrated in seeking to meet TfL’s concerns reflect a deep-rooted commitment to safety and provide further and strong evidence of fitness and propriety,” it said in a document submitted to Westminster Magistrates Court.

The firm added that it believes London is a “safer place” while Uber is in operation, and that the issues surrounding unauthorised drivers were the work of a singular group of people rather than “endemic or widespread fraud”.

Uber is currently still permitted to operate in London while its appeal of TfL’s decision to suspend its licence last year is ongoing. If it is unsuccessful in convincing judges in this week’s hearing, it has 21 days to appeal again to a higher court.

Deputy senior district judge Tan Ikram is presiding over the arguments.

Uber first lost its licence in London in 2017, and had since been operating on a 15-month probationary licence. It then received a two-month licence in September last year, before failing to gain an extension from TfL in November.

The hearing continues.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 46139
Location: 1066 Country
Quote:
The firm added that it believes London is a “safer place” while Uber is in operation,

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:17 pm
Posts: 2433
The roads of London are certainly no safer since poober started its operations with their "drivers" not knowing where on earth they're supposed to be going.

When I'm bus driving in London I'll usually give way to a proper taxi when it's safe to do so, but never to a minicab! I'm just waiting for one to give me the chance to blat him into oblivion and it won't be my fault.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 46139
Location: 1066 Country
Uber Tried to Conceal Driver Photo Fraud, London Cabbies Say

Uber Technologies Inc. attempted to hide the fraudulent use of photo identification by some drivers, London’s black-cab drivers said at the start of the company’s second court battle with the city’s transport regulator.

The ride-hailing app became aware of some drivers using photographs of colleagues as their own in October 2018 but didn’t inform the transport regulator until May 2019, the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association said Tuesday in its court filings. The LTDA, which represents around half of London’s black-cab drivers, is opposing Uber’s appeal.

Last year, Transport for London banned Uber from operating in the capital, citing safety concerns, but its cars were allowed to continue to drive during an appeal. The company faced a similar legal battle to stay in London two years ago.

Uber was granted a 15-month license by the court in 2018, far less than its previous five-year permit and shorter than the 18-month approval it requested. A ruling on the case could come as soon as Friday, but is more likely to come early next week. Uber would be able to continue operating even if it loses while it appeals the decision, a process that can take years.

LTDA lawyer Gerald Gouriet told the court that Uber drivers used incorrect photos on nearly 14,800 trips. The LTDA said most of the drivers who used the wrong identification had been dismissed by Uber, and some had had their licenses revoked by TfL.

Uber “decided to inform TfL of the issue only when the increasing number of photo-fraud cases made the likelihood of hiding them from TfL unrealistic,” he said in court documents. The company told the regulator in late May 2019, but “did so in a manner calculated to minimize its significance,” he said.

The LTDA’s allegation that the company attempted to conceal the issue is “emphatically rejected,” Uber’s lawyer Tim Ward told the court. The issue represented a very small number of its 45,000 London drivers, he said, while acknowledging that “mistakes were made in the handling and communication” to TfL of the issue.

Uber “was too slow,” but the overall picture shows “a sustained effort to root out this problem and prevent it happening again,” Ward said. Uber has introduced real-time identification and rolled-out an emergency assistance button and a 24-hour support line, among other “far reaching developments,” he said.

Uber is facing push back in several markets, on several fronts. The U.K. Supreme Court later this year will probably rule on the company’s battle over drivers’ employments rights. In its home state of California, it is fighting a law designed to reclassify its drivers as employees. A loss would upend its business model and provide momentum for similar pushes in New York and Massachusetts to provide labor protections.

Uber challenged the California law and, following a dramatic 11th-hour reprieve earlier this year, pushed the decision to California residents. They will vote this November on a competing ballot measure written and bankrolled by Uber and other gig companies.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Uber also addressed its past problem of some drivers operating with fraudulent or incorrect insurance documents. Ward said it was “a matter deep regret and frustration” but that the company has worked to rectify the issue with new “robust systems” in place.

“The operator, while it has made mistakes, is committed to compliance,” he said. “London is a safer place with Uber in the market than without it.”

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 46139
Location: 1066 Country
Uber boss blames 'gang of sophisticated fraudsters' after 14,000 trips were made by bogus drivers, court hears as taxi app appeals TfL's refusal to renew its operating licence

An Uber boss has blamed 'sophisticated fraudsters' for the identity scandal which allowed passengers to take nearly 15,000 trips with bogus drivers.

Jamie Heywood, boss of Uber Europe, said the company was 'transparent' and 'open' when giving information to Transport for London (TfL) about the issue.

He said Uber was 'trying to join the dots' and work out how unauthorised drivers exploited Uber's system and did not withhold information from the regulator.

'We were being attacked by a gang of fraudsters who were very, very sophisticated,' Mr Heywood told Westminster Magistrates' Court today.

'I would strongly say that there was no time during my time at Uber, and in what was a very complicated discovery process, that we tried to conceal any type of information from TFL.'

Uber is appealing TfL's decision not to renew its operating licence because of safety breaches that put passengers at risk.

The company was awarded a five-year licence in 2012, but in September 2017 TfL refused to renew it - and the ride hailing app had to go to court where a judge handed it a 15-month licence in June 2018.

It was then given a further two-month licence in September 2019, after which TfL rejected Uber's application for a new licence, citing 'several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk'.

Uber executive Mr Heywood explained that a security issue was detected on October 13, 2018 after a driver was discovered without a 'valid hire and reward insurance' by TfL's enforcement officers.

Uber also received complaints from customers who reported that their driver looked nothing like his picture on the app.

More than 14,788 thousand trips were taken using bogus identities created by drivers deactivating their GPS location to seem as if they were in another country.

The bogus drivers had uploaded their photographs onto legitimate driver's accounts, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

Mr Heywood said: 'It was escalated through the safety process that we have. We escalated it to San Francisco and the question here was what had happened.

'The San Francisco team then came back to us with the root cause specific to this complaint. At the time there was an ongoing dialogue with the San Francisco tech team about whether the fixes had gone in and been effective.'

Uber began an internal review of customer complaints to investigate whether any other driver had exploited the vulnerability, the boss said.

'That audit identified 45 uniquely identified drivers that were flagged, and what we were then going to do with those drivers is identify whether we should be deactivating them or not.'

Mr Heywood said 17 drivers' accounts were deactivated after Uber asked for a new photo from them to confirm their identity.

The Uber boss said: 'There were several phases of audits trying to get to the root of the problem. We initiated this ourselves.'

TfL claim Uber did not keep them appropriately 'abreast of any security problems' and deliberately left out information in several reports and letters they sent to the regulator as the company carried out its internal investigation.

Mr Heywood said: 'I completely share TfL's frustration, and it is exactly the emotion I feel as well. We have a vital obligation to be transparent with TfL

'Where we were struggling was with what do we put where.'

The hearing continues.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 7:30 pm
Posts: 46139
Location: 1066 Country
Fate of Uber’s London licence to be decided on 28 September

Uber will learn if it has regained a licence to operate in London on the 28 September, after Transport for London (TfL) deemed the ride-hailing giant not “fit and proper”.

It follows a hearing this week at Westminster Magistrates’ Court between Tuesday and Thursday. The court heard how “mistakes were made” by Uber over a software glitch that allowed more than 14,000 trips to be carried out by drivers who faked their identity on the app. That meant those journeys were uninsured and, in some cases, trips were with unlicensed drivers.

However, Tim Ward QC representing Uber this week said only 24 drivers exploited the glitch and that the problem was “not endemic or widespread”.

“It is a massive regret that this happened and a number of trips were taken,” he said.

“This has been resolved and there are a huge number of reasons Uber has tackled this to stop it from happening today.”

But Gerald Gouriet QC, representing the London Taxi Drivers’ Association, told the court that Uber had covered up the issue.

‘What they were telling TfL was that they had shut the stable door, but what they weren’t telling TfL was the existence of and the number of horses that had already bolted,” he said.

‘They were yet to be found and they were yet to be stopped. When TfL did investigate further, they were to discover 11,000 more such trips.”

Uber strongly denies any cover-up. Marie Demetriou QC, representing TfL, told the court that the regulator was “deeply unhappy” about Uber’s communication but did not go as far as saying Uber withheld information.

Uber’s ongoing London licence battle

Uber was first denied a licence to operate in London in 2017 over safety concerns. The company was given a 15-month licence in 2018 following a court battle, and then a two-month licence in September 2019.

In November 2019 TfL did not renew Uber’s licence for the second time in two years, citing a “pattern of failures” that risked passenger safety.

At the hearing this week, Senior District Judge Tan Ikram heard Uber argue it was now “fit and proper” to hold a Private Hire Vehicle icence.

Since it first lost its London licence, Uber has taken a number of steps to improve safety, such as the ability for riders to share live location with trusted contacts, as well as an emergency assistance button to contact the authorities via the app. In April Uber introduced a new system that uses a combination of facial recognition and human review to verify drivers’ identities.

It has also implemented ‘Programme Zero’, which aims to prevent all breaches of licence conditions. TfL has previously acknowledged Uber’s progress.

Uber faces threat to biggest market in Europe

Uber’s 45,000 London drivers have been able to continue operating during the appeals process. Drivers can continue to accept rides while Uber awaits the verdict. If Uber loses, it is likely to appeal, which could see legal action continue for another year.

The UK is Uber’s biggest market in Europe, with London making up the majority of its £60m yearly revenue in the UK. It is a market it can ill-afford to lose, especially at a time when the pandemic has decimated the volume of rides taken by passengers.

Rivals such as Bolt, Ola, Kapten and others have been looking to win over Uber’s 3.5 million customers in the capital and will no doubt be paying close attention to the outcome of Uber’s London licence judgement.

Uber also faces legal challenges on each side of the Atlantic over the employment status of its drivers, which threatens to upend its entire business model. A judgement in a Supreme Court case brought by two former Uber drivers in London is likely to be given this month.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 58 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group