‘The Uber Files’: 124,000+ Leaked Files Expose Global Dirty Dealings of Ride-Hailing Giant
WHISTLEBLOWING - SURVEILLANCE, 18 Jul 2022
Internal documents reveal how company “won access to world leaders, cozied up to oligarchs and dodged taxes amid chaotic global expansion.”
10 Jul 2022 – Over 124,000 internal corporate files and documents, including private communications between top executives, are the basis of new reporting published today dubbed “The Uber Files”—a detailed look at the ride-hailing juggernaut that aggressively lobbied governments around the world to ease regulations and pass legislation friendly to the company’s bottom line but often harmful to traditional taxi rivals and its own drivers.First obtained by The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. and subsequently shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the trove of documents offers a damning picture of the U.S.-based tech company that revolutionized ride-hailing with a smartphone app that allowed independent drivers to become instant taxi cab drivers.
According to the ICIJ:
As it grew from scrappy Silicon Valley startup to a world-conquering multi-billion dollar operation, Uber promoted itself as a leader of the digital revolution.
But the tech company pushed its agenda the old-fashioned way. Uber’s scandals and missteps in the United States, from its spying on government officials to its leaks of executive misconduct, have been the subject of books, TV series and newspaper investigations.
Now, a new leak of records reveal the inside story of how the ride-hailing giant’s executives muscled into new markets, then managed the fallout, spending gobs of cash on a global influence machine deployed to win favors from politicians, regulators and other leaders, who were often eager to lend a hand.
The Guardian reports how the extensive leak of data “lays bare the ethically questionable practices that fueled the company’s transformation into one of Silicon Valley’s most famous exports.”
The newspaper says the files cover the “five-year period when Uber was run by its co-founder Travis Kalanick, who tried to force the cab-hailing service into cities around the world, even if that meant breaching laws and taxi regulations.”
Episodes detailed in the reporting include ruthless behavior of Kalanick who appeared less concerned with the well-being of Uber drivers than securing the company’s ability to operate in new cities or countries.
Kalanick dismissed concerns from other executives that sending Uber drivers to a protest in France put them at risk of violence from angry opponents in the taxi industry. “I think it’s worth it,” he shot back. “Violence guarantee[s] success.”https://t.co/PAmu4U3Dnn
— Jacob Silverman (@SilvermanJacob) July 10, 2022
Gig Workers Rising, a collective of workers operating in the gig economy, said the leak shows how ruthless Uber was with Kalanick at the helm, but that the company continues to mistreat its drivers:
Uber trying to spin this as a story that they've changed now because Travis is gone, but that's a complete fabrication. They still don't treat workers with dignity and respect, and continue to break many laws with impunity. #UberFiles https://t.co/xHt93yLVNn
— Gig Workers Rising (@GigWorkersRise) July 10, 2022
Responding to the first batch of reporting on the files—with much more expected in the coming days—Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director of the Open Markets Institute, a think tank focused on corporate power and monopolies, called it a “damning report on Uber’s predatory methods of competition and growth, which antitrust enforcers here and abroad unfortunately aided and abetted because ‘innovation.'”
Tags: Big tech, Capitalism, Corruption, Exposé, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Investigative Journalism, Technology, Transnational Corporations, Uber, Whistleblowing
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Join the discussion!
We welcome debate and dissent, but personal — ad hominem — attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), abuse and defamatory language will not be tolerated. Nor will we tolerate attempts to deliberately disrupt discussions. We aim to maintain an inviting space to focus on intelligent interactions and debates.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
WHISTLEBLOWING - SURVEILLANCE: