Categories: Tech

Uber Files, pressure on governments and illegal app practices

Evidence is now public: Uber allegedly violated lawslobbied politicians and the media, committed illegal practices in his expansion all over the world. This is what emerges from the “Uber Files“, Thousands of documents published in the main newspapers regarding the app activity from 2013 to 2017. That paint a picture of a company that would really go out of its way for supplant taxis around the world. And Uber acknowledged the veracity of the documents, while saying that after the founder’s farewell, the company “passed from an era of confrontation to one of collaboration”. Although the former CEO Travis Kalanick denies their involvement.

Uber Files: the documents on the pressure on governments and the illegal practices of the app

First published by The Guardian and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the Uber Files show a wealth of data, published by dozens of newspapers around the world. It is about orl over 124 thousand official Uber documentsdated from 2013 to 2017. Which the company does not deny are true, also because they concern the past season when the CEO was the founder Travis Kalanickreplaced in 2017 by Dara Khosrowshahi.

According to the Guardian, the files “show how Uber has courted the support of Prime Ministers, Presidents, billionaires, oligarchs and media barons“. Meeting notes, presentations, notes, and transcripts showing that the company’s executives had no qualms about trying to expand the service.

A report with important names

Analyzing the huge amount of published data, several newspapers found excellent names in the Uber Files notes, even if the use of the conditional remains a must: investigations will be needed to determine if they really happened.

But the BBC reported as the French President Emmanuel Macron he would tell Uber’s CEO that he could reform French laws in favor of the company. Another report involves the former EU commissioner Neelie Kroes, who would have bargained for Uber before leaving his political role. Suggesting that he lobbied the company. And the Guardian also reports lobbying attempts towards the then US vice-president Joe Biden, potentially outside the regulated limits. Even if we repeat it: the fact that their names are in the documents of Uber Files is not enough to decree that we have indeed committed wrongdoing, only that Uber would try to get favors.

In addition to lobbying, too potentially illegal practices. The Washington Post reports that Uber would have a ‘kill switch‘ per delete all data from your computer. P.or “prevent the authorities from investigating the company’s business practices while disrupting the global taxi industry.” And in another article he reports that the company would have “Exploited violent attacks” against drivers to pursue their own agenda. With the former CEO who would have suggested in a message that “violence [delle proteste in Francia, ndr] guarantees success “.

Uber Files, did the company know it was breaking the law?

According to the Guardian, not only many of the practices would be contestable. It seems the executives knew they were breaking the rules. Nairi HourdajianUber’s former head of global communications, admits this in a message to a colleague from 2014. “We have problems every now and then because, well, we’re fucking illegal. ”

One of the executives even jokingly admits to having become ‘pirates’. An unacceptable behavior, which today Uber itself disputes.

Jill Hazelbaker, Uber’s SVP of marketing and public affairs, candidly admits the faults of the past. “We did not apologize and we are not going to excuse past behavior which is clearly not in line with the values ​​of the present. Instead, we ask the public to judge us for what we have done in the last five years and for what we will do in the near future ”.

The old CEO denies

Uber wants to distance itself as much as possible from the behavior that the past management of the company would have held. Avoiding the damage of image and above all the possible legal accusations, which could perhaps arrive in the next few weeks.

Ma Devon Spurgeonwho acts as a spokesperson for the founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick, denies several of the news reported in a post published by ICIJ. “Mr. Kalanick has never authorized or directed any illegal conduct in Uber’s expansion into Russia. And in fact, he had minimal involvement in those expansion plans. And Mr. Kalanick never suggested that Uber take advantage of the violence to the detriment of drivers’ safety “.

Furthermore, the spokesperson stated that i documents would not be signed by the clientnoting that some are nearly a decade old and fake.

In short, the founder of the app maintains his innocence. But with journalists around the world digging through the data to find illegal and deplorable practices (and prosecutors soon starting to do the same), there may be new possible scandals on the horizon. The conditional remains necessary until there is a juridical trutha, but it seems that more news may come very soon. We will keep you updated on the development of the situation.

Published by
Walker Ronnie

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