Uber has used tool to evade police during foreign raids

NEW YORK (AP) — The ride-sharing company Uber confirms it had technology to shield company data when law enforcement raided offices outside the U.S.

Uber says this tool — no longer in use — could lock computers and smartphones and change passwords remotely from the company's headquarters in San Francisco.

Bloomberg reported Thursday that Uber used the tool, known as Ripley, from spring 2015 until late 2016 in several cities.

Bloomberg says some Uber employees felt the Ripley system hindered legitimate investigations, while some people believed its use was justified when police didn't come with warrants or specific-enough data requests.

The use of this tool raises questions for Uber because the company has in the past used a phony version of its app to thwart authorities attempting to collect evidence of local law-breaking.