Uber driver imprisoned for two days in Argentina

The unnamed driver has also been banned from driving for two months

An Uber driver was imprisoned and banned from driving in Argentina for two months on Monday, marking the first offence since a ban on the ride-hailing app came into effect earlier this month.

The anonymous driver was found to have broken rules governing the misuse of public space and for practising an illegal activity, as set out in the country'sCriminal Code. Uber is banned in Argentina.

Prosecutor Martn Lapad sentenced the driver, in an "abbreviated" or speedy trial, to be jailed for two days. They will also not be able to drive any kind of vehicle for a period of two months, though the sentence can be suspended for two years if the driver, known only by the initials G.E.D.M.,commits not to use the Uber application again under any circumstance.

G.E.D.M was under investigation after offering his services as a driver through the Uber application on 22 December 2016. In the trial it was understood that the driver had earnt 4361 Argentine pesos (222)through the company Payment SRL for his services as a driver for Uber.

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Lapad also found that the driver owned a B1 licence, which allows a driver to drive automobiles and trucks up to 3,500 kg of weight, but he was not allowed to transport passengers, which requires a D licence.

According to the Department of Public Prosecution, the "abbreviated" trial was used to avoid a conventional trial and resolve the process in a much more efficient way.

Lapad said: "This first conviction of an Uber driver, who has been sentenced to prison and banned from driving, shows ... the unlawfulness of the conduct of Uber drivers." He also added that if Uber drivers are under investigation, an abbreviated trial can potentially be used depending on the case.

It was declared on 10 April, one year after Uber became active in the country, that the application and use of its services is illegal. Lapad is the prosecutor in charge of the investigation surrounding Uber in Argentina, which has been blocked on all digital platforms.

Despite the ban of its service, Uber continues to recruit local drivers on its website.

Uber has faced a number of problems not only in the US but around the world. In the US, the company had to settle two lawsuits for 58 million in April 2016. In June 2016, the company was fined 800,000 by the French courts.

More recently, the ride hailing company has been plagued by a number of top level executive departures, including the self driving cars chief Sherif Marakby and president Jeff Jones.

Uber declined to comment.

18/04/2017: Uber loses vice president of global vehicle programmes

Uber's vice president of global vehicle programmes, Sherif Marakby, left his post yesterday, becoming the latest in a string of executives to leave the company.

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"Self-driving is one of the most interesting challenges I've worked on in my career, and I'm grateful to have contributed to what will soon be a safer future for everyone,"Marakby said in a statement.

An Uber spokesperson added: "Sherif's deep experience and knowledge of the automotive industry have helped us tremendously in working to make self-driving cars a reality."

Marakby joined the company in April 2016 from Ford Motor, where he was a director of global electronic systems engineering, and helped the company to launch its self-driving ride programme in Pittsburgh.

It comes after Uber lost its head of communications,Rachel Whetstone, last week,and presidentJeff Joneslast month, the latter of whom said Uber's values didn't reflect his own.

The scandal-struck company has hired former President Obama's ex-Attorney General to conduct an investigation into accusations ofsystemic sexismwithin the firm, where women make up just 15% of tech roles.

Meanwhile, Alphabet's Waymo has accused Uber ofstealing sensing technologyand launched a lawsuit stating that Waymo took seven years to develop the technology whereas Uber took nine months, raising its suspicions.

It also emerged that the ride-hailing company was usingBig Data algorithmsto prevent police from using the service in cities where Uber was restricted or banned, in a programme known as 'Greyball'.

12/04/2017:Uber loses head of communications

Uber's head of communications has resigned, following months of controversies plaguing the ride-sharing app.

Rachel Whetstone, Uber's head of public policy and communications, announced her resignation from the company. Her departure was first announced internally in a staff email from the company's CEO, Travis Kalanick.

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"I wanted to let you know that Rachel Whetstone, who heads up policy and communications globally, has decided to leave Uber," he wrote, according to a letter seen by Business Insider,proceeding to praise her work for the company.

Whetstone, who previously served 10 years overseeing communications and public policy for Google, joined Uber in 2015. She had been leading efforts aimed at repairing the company's image, which has recently been tarnished by negative publicity, including allegations of sexual harassment within the company and an unhealthy internal culture.

It was not disclosed whether or not the continuous controversies contributed to Whetstone's decision to resign. According to Recode, however, tension over bad press existed between Kalanick and Whetstone in the time leading up to her departure.

"I am incredibly proud of the team that we've built - and that just as when I left Google, a strong and brilliant woman will be taking my place," Whetstone said in a statement IT Pro received from Uber's press office. "I joined Uber because I love the product - and that love is as strong today as it was when I booked my first ride six years ago."

Kalanick's email explained Whetstone will be succeeded by Jill Hazelbaker, Uber's newly minted SVP of global policy and communications, and Whetstone's frequent right hand.

Whetstone is the latest senior executive to leave to company over recent months, following SVP of engineering Amit Singhal and President Jeff Jones, the latter of whom quit after just six months at the firm, saying its values do not align with his own.

"After we announced our intention to hire a COO, Jeff came to the tough decision that he doesn't see his future at Uber," Kalanick said in a note to staff shared on social media at the time.

Uber is conducting an investigation into claims of sexism at the firm, after former Uber engineer Susan Fowler claimed she was harrassed by a manager who suffered no consequences, and that women were discriminated against.

The company recently released its diversity report, which showed that women make up just 15% of tech roles.

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