What are the Uber Files?
They are a series of 1,24,000 files including memos, emails, and conversations between executives
The company is currently worth $45 billion and caters to nearly 900 cities worldwide
Uber released a statement saying it would not make excuses for its past behaviour
Over 1,00,000 leaked files, transcripts, emails and memos from Uber have revealed how the ride-hailing company circumvented laws, tricked police, exploited their drivers and even secretly lobbied governments across the world.
In total, there are 1,24,000 files that implicate the company. Journalists from across news agencies around the world in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists spent eight months poring over thousands of files from between 2013 and 2017, when the company, helmed at that time by co-founder Travis Kalanick, was growing rapidly and aggressively. The report, spearheaded by the Guardian with the help of the ICIJ comprises 180 journalists across publications like Le Monde, Washington Post, the Indian Express and the BBC.
Uber dominates much of the Western market and a significant chunk of the Eastern market. The years that the company were under the leadership of Travis Kalanick were also the years that it grew quickly and aggressively. Today, the company is worth $45 billion and its drivers make close to 19 million journeys a day. Uber has operations in 72 countries and can be found in nearly 900 cities worldwide.
The company is famous for courting controversy. Just a year after it was started in 2009, the San Francisco Metro Transit Authority and the Public Utilities Commission of California threatened the company with a cease and desist letter for operating an unlicenses taxi service. Since then, at some point or the other, the company has found itself dealing with some sort of negative publicity or the other, from price surge complaints to sexual misconduct allegations.
In light of the recent reports, Uber has tried to get ahead of controversy. Its senior vice-president of public affairs said that the company would not make excuses for its “past behaviour” and instead were hoping that the public would judge them by “what we’ve done over the last five years and what we will do in the years to come.”