Leaked Uber Docs Reveal Ethically Questionable And Potentially Illegal Tactics

The leak of confidential files from Uber’s ride-sharing app illustrates the ethically dubious and potentially illegal tactics the company has used in its frenetic global expansion since nearly a decade ago, a joint media investigation showed Sunday.

Dubbed “the Uber files,” an investigation based on 124,000 entries and involving dozens of news organizations found that early in the San Francisco startup’s history as it sought to break into new markets, company officials sometimes used the taxi industry’s furious backlash against drivers to gain support and evade regulators.

Uber in a statement Sunday acknowledged “mistakes” but placed the blame on previous management under former chief executive Travis Kalanick, who was forced to step down in 2017 after revelations accusing him of abusive management practices and multiple episodes of sexual and psychological harassment at the company. .

“We have moved from an era of confrontation to an era of cooperation, demonstrating a willingness to sit down at the negotiating table and find common ground with former adversaries, including trade unions and taxi companies,” the message says.

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The investigation found that as Uber’s subsidized drivers and discounted fares threatened the taxi industry, the company’s drivers faced harsh retribution, including protests in Paris in 2016.

“In some cases where drivers have been attacked, Uber executives have been quick to capitalize” to gain support from the public and regulators as they enter new markets, “often without obtaining licenses to operate as a taxi service and liveries,” according to report. Washington Postone of the media participating in the investigation.

Kalanick called for a counter protest in Paris and apparently suggested that violence would help the cause, writing to other officials, “Violence guarantees success.”

Kalanick denied the findings, with a spokesman saying he “never suggested Uber use violence against driver safety” and that he “never authorized any action or program that would obstruct justice in any country.”

The investigation also accuses Uber of trying to evade regulatory investigations by taking advantage of its technological advantage. Mail wrote, describing a case in which Kalanick implemented a “kill switch” to remotely disable devices in the Amsterdam office from accessing Uber’s internal systems during a regulatory raid.

Another conclusion, according to Mailpointed out that between 2014 and 2016, Uber found an ally in then-French economy minister Emmanuel Macron, now the country’s president, who the company believes will encourage regulators to “be less conservative” in their interpretation of the rules restricting the company’s activities. .