Evgeny Morozov:

As regulators from India to France continue to crack down on Uber, the popular taxi-hailing app, the company has embarked on a charm offensive. All of a sudden, Uber’s once combative and tone-deaf executives laud the importance of regulating their industry. They also seem to grasp why the company makes for such an easy target: it’s just too nasty. Thus, during the recent Juno winter storm in the US, Uber agreed to halt its controversial practice of surge pricing, whereby passengers see prices for journeys skyrocket because of increased demand.
 But this is not the whole of it. In a genius publicity gambit, Uber has also offered the city of Boston – once its staunch opponent – access to the troves of anonymised data about its journeys, all with the hope of easing traffic congestion and improving city planning. And – a sheer coincidence, of course – Massachusetts, Boston’s home state, has recently recognised taxi-sharing platforms as legal modes of transport, lifting one of the main barriers faced by Uber.