Exclusive: Current and former Uber confidence staffers expel doubt on espionage claims

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The former confidence arch of Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] swore in a sealed authorised move that he knew of no attempts to take trade secrets from anyone, including Alphabet Inc’s self-driving section Waymo, and would be “shocked” if that had occurred.

In a deposition taken in mid-December nearby San Francisco, Joe Sullivan, Uber’s confidence arch from 2015 to 2017, pronounced that a many bomb claims done by another former Uber worker of reprobate and bootleg function by members of his confidence team were false.

The testimony, described to Reuters by people informed with it, came in tie with a lawsuit brought by Waymo that accuses arch opposition Uber of hidden trade secrets.

Sullivan’s testimony has not been done public. He has not oral in open justice or oral publicly given withdrawal Uber in November, when he was dismissed following an investigation.

The formerly unreported testimony from a onetime comparison Uber official, as good as interviews conducted by Reuters with 5 stream and former Uber employees, rebuts statements made in an bomb 37-page minute final year that triggered a inner examine and drew a courtesy of sovereign prosecutors, who are still investigating.

The minute was created by an profession for Richard Jacobs, a confidence researcher who worked during Uber from 2016 to 2017 and was about to be fired, Jacobs has acknowledged.

Jacobs’ counsel wrote that Uber’s confidence apparatus was intent in hidden trade secrets, espionage on opposition executives and wiretapping, among other controversial behavior.

Uber’s inner examine of Jacobs’ claims also unclosed something new, that was not mentioned in Jacobs’ letter: an undisclosed 2016 information crack and a $100,000 payout to a hacker in Florida. This find led to Uber banishment Sullivan and authorised emissary Craig Clark for unwell to have a association divulge a crack to business and regulators.

Waymo seized on the claims done by Jacobs because they categorically mentioned that Uber had stolen Waymo trade secrets, and Waymo was already suing Uber in a sovereign justice for burglary of trade secrets.

Sullivan’s testimony and a Reuters interviews put into doubt Uber’s preference to compensate Jacobs a $7.5 million allotment and offer him a consulting agreement in tie with his threats to display Uber’s purported wrongdoing.

An Uber orator did not criticism on a import of Sullivan’s testimony, though pronounced that Uber had already substantiated some of Jacobs’ claims, nonetheless zero associated to Waymo. He combined that a association is “changing a approach we do business, putting firmness during a core of all we do.” A mouthpiece for Waymo declined to comment.

Jacobs’ profession in a Waymo case, Martha Boersch, who did not write a 37-page-letter, did not respond to requests for comment. Jacobs did not respond to a ask for comment.

Attorneys for Waymo have pronounced in justice that over a scarcely year-long box they have amassed a record of justification against Uber and were prepared to go to hearing before a explanation of a Jacobs letter, that came days before a strange hearing date. On Friday, Waymo filed a justice request that pronounced it had advanced some of Jacobs’ claims about Uber’s data-gathering efforts opposite rivals, though a specifics were redacted.

In interviews with Reuters, 3 stream Uber executives steady Sullivan’s rejecting of Jacobs’ claims and pronounced they were unknowingly any of a lawbreaking allegations by Jacobs. They called fake Jacobs’ statements that a confidence section had dissipated attorney-client payoff or speedy a use of fleeting messaging services in sequence to cover adult crude behavior.

Uber perceived a minute from Jacobs in May 2017, though it was not publicly disclosed until November, when sovereign prosecutors common a minute with a decider overseeing a Uber-Waymo lawsuit. The decider behind a hearing to concede Waymo attorneys to question Sullivan and other Uber employees about a letter.

In his possess recent court coming in a Waymo case, Jacobs stood by his claims that Uber’s confidence group spied on and stole from competitors and attempted lonesome a tracks. But he certified he was not wakeful of Uber hidden anything from Waymo, contradicting partial of his letter. He attributed a counterbalance to a miscommunication with a profession who wrote it on his behalf.

 

Reporting by Joseph Menn and Heather Somerville; Editing by Jonathan Weber

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