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Uber’s Litany of Controversies Embody Harassment, Knowledge Hacking, Spying on Rivals and Extra

Even earlier than new leaks emerged revealing bare-knuckle growth ways at ride-hailing big Uber, the app was dogged by controversy over harassment, hacking and standoffs with the authorities over its employees’ rights.

That is what we knew about Uber, based in 2010, earlier than the joint media investigation.

Riders struggle for rights 

Because the outset Uber has been preventing an ongoing battle over the standing of its employees, which it insists are freelancers, a flashpoint difficulty throughout the gig financial system.

In March 2021, following a ruling by Britain’s Excessive Courtroom, Uber agreed to offer its UK drivers employees’ entitlements together with vacation pay and a pension. Its 70,000 drivers there ought to now earn at the very least the minimal wage.

Within the US the Biden administration in Could 2021 blocked a rule handed down beneath former president Donald Trump that may have prevented gig employees from demanding a minimal wage or extra time.

In December 2021 the European Union tabled plans that would power Uber and different platforms to deal with their employees as fully-fledged staff.

French and Dutch courts have dominated the contract between Uber and its drivers are an employment contract.


Co-founder Travis Kalanick resigned from Uber in June 2017 amid heavy stress following reviews a few cutthroat office tradition, harassment and different ills.

His exit adopted a probe led by former US legal professional basic Eric Holder, who investigated allegations of misconduct and moral lapses on the firm.

Uber fired 20 individuals following the probe, which examined 215 claims of discrimination, harassment, unprofessional behaviour, bullying, retaliation and “bodily safety”.

Additionally that month a lady raped by an Uber driver in India filed a lawsuit accusing Uber of invading her privateness and defamation.

In Could 2018 Ingrid Avendano, who labored at Uber from 2014 to 2017, filed a lawsuit in a California high court docket.

The lawsuit contended Uber’s work tradition was “permeated with degrading, marginalising, discriminatory, and sexually harassing conduct in direction of girls” and that this was perpetuated and condoned by managers.

Avendano’s legal professionals said she raised considerations however “was met with Uber’s entrenched disregard for the rights of its girls staff and a refusal to take efficient steps to stop harassment.”

Spying on rivals 

In 2017, the US investigated Uber over suspected corruption and the usage of unlawful software program to spy on rivals or escape the management of authorities.

The identical 12 months Waymo, previously generally known as the Google self-driving automotive unit, filed a lawsuit claiming former supervisor Anthony Levandowski took technical knowledge with him when he left to launch a competing enterprise, Otto, later acquired by Uber.

Waymo argued {that a} “calculated theft” of its expertise netted Otto a buyout of greater than $500 million and enabled Uber to revive a stalled self-driving automotive programme.

Uber quickly suspended its autonomous driving testing in a number of places in america after a pedestrian was killed in a March 2018 accident in Arizona.

Knowledge hacking 

Uber was vilified when it emerged in 2017 that knowledge on 57 million of its riders and drivers had been hacked the earlier 12 months.

Investigations had been opened within the US and Europe and in August 2020 US prosecutors charged the corporate’s former safety chief Joseph Sullivan with overlaying up the hack.

Prosecutors stated Uber paid the hackers $100,000 in bitcoin cryptocurrency, with Sullivan wanting them to signal non-disclosure agreements promising to maintain mum in regards to the affair.

Kalanick was suggested of the breach shortly after it was found, however it was not made public till the brand new chief govt Dara Khosrowshahi, appointed in mid-2017, discovered of the incident.

Out within the chilly 

Lately, drivers who had labored with Uber for years abruptly discovered themselves banned from the app.

Uber cited issues with paperwork, fraudulent behaviour like renting out accounts and safety causes reminiscent of bodily or verbal assaults reported by prospects.

In July 2021, Uber added an appendix to its phrases and situations stating it may completely prohibit entry to the applying with out specific motive and at any time.



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