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Uber up in flames

The Tel Aviv District Court on Monday issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the operations of Uber in Israel, except for the company’s regular taxi service, Israel’s Channel 10 TV News reported.

The hearing was held following a civil suit filed against Uber’s Israeli operations by the Association of Taxi Owners and Gett (previously known as GetTaxi), a global on-demand mobility company that connects customers with transportation, goods and services.


Back in 2016, when Uber announced its “Ubernight” service as part of its attempts to penetrate the Israeli market, the company p[romised that the service would be available in Tel Aviv from 7 PM to 2 AM, but participating drivers would not be allowed to make a profit on these trips, only receive reimbursement for their expenses from passengers.

At Monday’s hearing, Judge Eitan Orenstein criticized Uber on that initiative, including issues of insurance and pricing, which he said do not reflect a reimbursement of expenses but a real payment. The parties took a recess, and when they returned, Uber agreed to a permanent injunction on its Israeli operations, to take effect Wednesday.

Of course, Uber’s Israeli problems are dwarfed by the catastrophe the company is facing around the globe these days, after the company had admitted that a 2016 data breach put at risk the personal information of 57 million Uber users worldwide and at least 600,000 drivers in the United States.

According to an announcement issued last Tuesday by Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, the breached rider information included the “names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers related to accounts globally.” The announcement went on to say: “Our outside forensics experts have not seen any indication that trip location history, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers or dates of birth were downloaded.”

Japan Today reported on Saturday that regulators around the world are already investigating whether the company violated consumer protection laws that, in many instances, require disclosure of data breaches.

It is expected that both drivers and riders will decide to abandon the beleaguered company in a hurry if they decide Uber can’t be trusted to keep their personal information secure.


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