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Uber To Ban 'Greyball' Tool Used To Stymie Regulators

Eric Risberg / AP

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2014, file photo a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco.

Eric Risberg / AP

(AP) - Uber is dismantling a secret weapon it used against local regulators who have been trying to curtail or shut down its ride-hailing service in some cities around the world.

The about-face announced Wednesday comes less than a week after a report published in The New York Times exposed the existence of a technology feature nicknamed "Greyball" that identified regulators posing as riders while trying to collect evidence that Uber's service was breaking local laws governing taxis.

The program served up a fake version of Uber's popular app to make it appear the undercover regulators were summoning a car, only to have the ride never show up or canceled.

Uber now says it will ban greyballing undercover regulators, although it may take time to block the program completely.