Frequently Asked Questions About Uber Files


Since the publication of the first accounts of the Uber Files investigation on July 10, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists was contacted by members of the public and the press with questions about the trove of leaked documents. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions. We may update this post with answers to other questions we have received from readers.

What are Uber Files?

The Uber Files is a global journalistic collaboration that reveals how juggernaut Uber burst into markets around the worldhow he used stealth technology and evasive practices to thwart regulators and law enforcement in at least six countries and how he deployed a phalanx of lobbyists to woo prominent world leaders to influence legislation and to help him avoid taxes.

Investigation is based on leaked sensitive texts, emails, invoices, briefing notes, presentations and other documents exchanged by senior Uber executives, government bureaucrats and world leaders in nearly 30 countries. It offers an unprecedented look at how Uber challenged taxi laws and workers’ rights.

Who Leaked Uber Files Data?

old top Uber lobbyist Mark MacGann came forward as the source of the Uber Files leak in an interview with The Guardian published 24 hours after the first stories from the investigation went live.

MacGann served as Uber’s chief lobbyist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa from 2014 to 2016 and oversaw government relations and public policy in more than 40 countries. He was tasked with managing the company’s chaotic global expansion, which was plagued with violations of local transportation laws.

“There is no excuse for the way the company has played with people’s lives,” MacGann said in an interview. Read more.

What do the Uber Files reveal?

Our investigation revealed that the former Silicon Valley startup held undisclosed meetings with high-ranking political figures to ask for favors, including dropping investigations and changing policies on workers’ rights; this society used Russian oligarchs as conduits to the Kremlin; and that he discussed the public relations benefits of violence against his drivers as he engaged in international power struggles with taxi drivers and lawmakers opposed to his expansion.

As Uber struggled to set up shop in cities around the world, it saved millions in taxes by routing profits through Bermuda and other offshore jurisdictions. The confidential documents, leaked to The Guardian, show that Uber sought to distract from its tax obligations by helping authorities collect taxes of its drivers.

Who was involved in the Uber Files leak?

The Uber files include communications between top Uber executives, government bureaucrats and world leaders in nearly 30 countries, between 2013 and 2017, when Uber was diving into new markets, often without government approval.

In addition to high-ranking Uber executives like founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick and then-chief lobbyist Mark MacGann, some of the most important names include then-Economy Minister (and now French President) Emmanuel Macron, former EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-US Vice President Joe Biden, among other world leaders, as well as oligarchs linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin including billionaires Herman Gref and Oleg Deripaska. Explore Communications Between Important Figures in Leaked Files.

How big was the Uber Files leak?

The Uber files included more than 124,000 emails, text messages and internal company documents, amounting to 18.69 GB of data.

Will the ICIJ release Uber Files data?

No. The ICIJ does not disclose personal data in bulk but will continue to explore datasets with media partners. More than 180 journalists spent months searching the data for stories of public interest.

How did Uber react to the Uber Files leak?

An Uber spokeswoman, Jill Hazelbaker, admitted in response to questions “mistakes” and “missteps” that resulted five years ago in “one of the most infamous calculations in the world.” history of American business”.

She said Uber completely changed the way it operates in 2017 after facing high-profile lawsuits and government investigations that led to the ousting of Travis Kalanick and other top executives. Read the full statement from Uber.

How did Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick react to the Uber Files leak?

Devon Spurgeon, spokesman for Uber founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick, said the company’s rapid expansion in its early years was fueled by a team of “more than 100 executives in dozens of countries around the world” which were overseen by “Uber’s robust legal department”. , policies and compliance groups. » Read the full statement.

What is the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)?

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is a supported by donors investigative media and consortium of journalists and media partners who work together to tell stories that shake the world.

ICIJ works with the biggest and smallest media in the world to do the surveillance journalism they used to do on their own. We retain a network of trusted journalistswhich developed at the invitation of 280 top investigative journalists from more than 100 countries and territories.

How does the ICIJ choose its survey partners?

When setting up a collaboration like The Uber Files, the ICIJ begins by assessing the data and identifying areas in need of reporting, with a particular focus on engaging journalists in countries where we know that there will be important stories and strong public interest. We then prioritize finding partners with a proven investigative track record who we can trust to work quietly, collaboratively and respectfully with journalists around the world.

How can I contact the ICIJ if I want to share a tip or leak documents?

The ICIJ encourages whistleblowers to submit all forms of content that may be in the public interest – documents, photos, video clips as well as story tips – and to do it safely. We accept all information related to potential wrongdoing by companies, governments or public services in any country, anywhere in the world. We do our best to ensure the confidentiality of our sources. Find out how to contact us securely here.

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