The ongoing hearing on the $1.86-billion lawsuit filed by Waymo against ride-hailing giant Uber has taken a dramatic turn.
Richard Jacobs, who used to be Uber’s manager of global intelligence, accused his former employer of allegedly engaging in corporate espionage, stealing trade secrets, bribing foreign officials and other unlawful acts.
The accusations were made in a 37-page letter written by Jacob’s lawyer and submitted as evidence in the Waymo versus Uber suit.
Waymo, which is Alphabet’s self-driving unit that was owned by Google, has accused Uber of allegedly stealing trade secrets. Alphabet is Google’s parent company.
A redacted version of the letter was made public late last week.
The letter detailed alleged illegal activities of Uber’s Strategic Services Group (SSG) and the Marketplace Analytics (MA) group.
The two groups, the letter said, “exists expressly for the purpose of acquiring trade secrets, codebase, and competitive intelligence… from major ride-sharing competitors globally.”
The letter said further that SSG and MA used short-lived encrypted chat apps and “non-attributable” devices to hide their acts.
Uber said it knows about the allegations made in Jacobs’ letter.
A spokesperson for Uber said in a media statement: “While we haven’t substantiated all the claims in this letter-and, importantly, any related to Waymo-our new leadership has made clear that going forward we will compete honestly and fairly, on the strength of our ideas and technology.”
Jacobs’ accusations against Uber is another blow to the beleaguered ride-hailing company.
Uber had concealed a hack of its database wherein a Florida man managed to access personal information (names, email addresses and phone numbers) of 50 million riders worldwide and seven million drivers.
The company paid the unidentified hacker $100,000 to delete the stolen data and keep quiet about it.
A former executive of Uber has made damning allegations against the ride-hailing company.
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