Uber Files Leak

Monday, July 11, the Guardian published an extensive report dubbed the ‘Uber Files’ leak. The investigation exposes a multitude of illegal and exploitative business practices allegedly carried out by the ride-sharing giant.

The publication released 124,000 pages of internal Uber documents via the Internal Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Within the papers, there is evidence of political lobbying, law breaking, and circumvention of the police

Reportedly, the Uber files leak spans five years, from 2013 to 2017. During this time, the company’s co-founder, Travis Kalanick, pursued its aggressive expansion.

Over 83,000 emails, WhatsApp, and iMessages reveal that other top executives were aware of the immoral practices.

Notably, the attaché references a “secret deal” brokered between Uber and the French cabinet. The purpose of the “secret deal” was to ease opposition of the car service in the country.

It is only one of countless incidents the Guardian’s source provided about Uber’s questionable practices. However, their source doesn’t wish to stay anonymous. 

Who leaked the Uber files and why?

After the comprehensive report went public, Mark MacGann identified himself as the source for the investigation.

MacGann was the former chief lobbyist for Uber in Europe, which he claims gave him access to the information.

“It is my duty to speak up and help governments and parliamentarians right some fundamental wrongs. Morally, I had no choice in the matter.”

— Mark MacGann / The Guardian

In regards to Uber’s methods for expansion, company spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker responded with the following statement

“We have not and will not make excuses for past behaviour that is clearly not in line with our present values. Instead, we ask the public to judge us by what we’ve done over the last five years and what we will do in the years to come.”

Currently, Uber is worth a total of $43 billion and makes 19 million trips a day through their app. 

Other global outlets such as The Washington Post, BBC, and Le Monde all showcase various aspects of the accusations in the documents, the veracity and consequences of which are yet to be legally determined.

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