Uber might never get its London operating license after security flaw coverup

Uber’s London tumult continues as authorities move closer to a ruling over its operating license suspension.

On September 28, almost three years to the day since Uber lost its right to operate in London, a judge will announce whether Uber will be granted an operating license in the English capital, Reuters reports.

Uber lost is operating license way back in 2017 after Transport for London (TfL) raised a number safety concerns, including how the company reports crimes, and obtains medical certificates and performs background checks on its drivers.

[Read: 5 things to know when you’re buying your first electric vehicle]

In 2019, TfL refused to grant Uber a new license saying that it had continued with a “pattern of failures” over the safety and security of how its platform operates.

More than 40,000 Uber drivers work in London, and many rely on it as a source of income.

Despite having no official license, the ride-sharing firm has been allowed to carry on as normal while the litigation process continues.

The ruling couldn’t come at a worse time for Uber as the company fights legal battles in a number of markets.

In California, Uber is still fighting AB5, the legislation brought into effect in January that requires gig-workers to be recognized as employees and paid appropriate benefits.

More recently back in London, reports surfaced that Uber had been covering up a significant flaw in its app that let drivers swap their photo identifications.

According to a Telegraph article from last month, Uber failed to notify TfL of the bug which let drivers use profiles that weren’t theirs.

The Daily Mail reported yesterday that after being found out, Uber then attempted to cover up the true scale of the flaw. The report claims that Uber drivers managed to pick up riders nearly 15,000 times using driver profiles with incorrect photo IDs.

Indeed, it seems the odds are stacked against Uber at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped the company from finding a way to carry on as if nothing has happened before. While the upcoming September 28 ruling will be a pivotal day, we still might be far from the final crescendo of this long-running and tiring case.

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Published September 18, 2020 — 10:52 UTC

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