Uber in Israel ordered to shut down ride-sharing service

A protest against Uber in Budapest

The globally popular taxi application Uber has been forced to cease its operations in Israel after Tel Aviv District Court ruled its operations are illegal because of a lack of proper travel insurance for drivers.

Of course, Uber's Israeli problems are dwarfed by the catastrophe the company is facing around the globe these days, after the company had admitted that a 2016 data breach put at risk the personal information of 57 million Uber users worldwide and at least 600,000 drivers in the United States.

Despite this, Uber's taxi service, separate from the ride-sharing program, will be allowed to continue. The injunction will take effect on Wednesday at 10:00 am.

Uber had argued that its app, which began as a night-time service and expanded to day-time operation this month, should be categorised differently as passengers' payment was created to cover car-maintenance expenses and not to profit the drivers.

At Monday's hearing, Judge Eitan Orenstein criticized Uber on that initiative, including issues of insurance and pricing, which he said do not reflect a reimbursement of expenses but a real payment.

The court specifically banned UberDay and UberNight, the company's private-car services in Tel Aviv.

"We are committed to working with the Israeli authorities to explore how technology can improve our cities with safe and affordable transportation alternatives".

Uber has operated in Israel for about a year. In mid-January, the Israeli Transportation Ministry's trial against Uber will begin, demanding the immediate cessation of the company's activity in Israel and that a fine be imposed for criminal activity.

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