Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a lawsuit involving Uber’s alleged use of a program called “Hell.” The lawsuit was originally filed in April by Michael Gonzales, who drove for Lyft during the time Uber allegedly used the software. He sought $5 million in a class action lawsuit.
Today, Judge Corley granted Uber’s motion to dismiss the claim with leave to amend, meaning Gonzales can file another lawsuit with an amended complaint. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleged Uber broadly invaded the privacy of the Lyft drivers, specifically violated the California Invasion of Privacy Act and Federal Wiretap Act and engaged in unfair competition.
In June, Uber filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying Gonzales made his allegations based on an article, rather than on claims that Uber intercepted any communications or eavesdropped on those communications.
“Even if those allegations were true, they would not describe anything other than the collection and use of location information that Plaintiff knew was being broadcast by Lyft, something to which he had expressly consented,” Uber’s motion to dismiss stated. “For all of the foregoing reasons, this Court should dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint.”
As the story goes, Uber allegedly tracked Lyft drivers using a secret software program internally referred to as “Hell.” It allegedly let Uber see how many Lyft drivers were available to give rides, and what their prices were. Hell could allegedly also determine if people were driving for both Uber and Lyft.
I’ve reached out to Uber and will update this story if I hear back.