Tech

Uber´s Biggest Controversies So Far

By Luis Fran , Feb 21, 2017 06:32 AM EST
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Recently, Uber faced another huge controversy when its CEO Trevor Kalanick joined Donald Trump´s advisory team, to the point in which he eventually resigned in order safe the company´s image. (Photo : GlowDigi/YouTube)

Although Uber is one of the greatest companies right now, everyone knows that the app has been characterized for having suffered a lot of controversies in its history, to the point in which its popularity has decreased in a really concerning way among users. 

Uber Spied On Journalists In 2014

Having a decent relationship with journalists after they criticized you is something that some leaders and companies don´t know how to deal with, and the delicate detail about this situation is that playing with the media can get you burned, since this is a power that can easily represent a huge threat if you make a really wrong move. And of course, this is exactly what Uber did, facing one of the biggest controversies in its history.

Believe it or not, senior vice president of business at Uber, Emil Michael, was recorded suggesting that the company should actually hire professional researchers so they can dig up dirt on those who criticize the company in the media, by looking into their personal lives and families in order to find any delicate material that Uber can use against them.

Naturally, Michael later wanted to minimize this issue, claiming that the remarks were wrong and don't reflect his real position in this particular situation. However, even when he assured that his comments were borne out of frustration during an informal debate, it later emerged that general manager of Uber´s New York office, Josh Mohrer, had accessed the travel data of a BuzFeed reporter without her permission.

Uber Wanted To Take Advantage Of Trump´s Muslim Ban

Of every single controversy that president Donald Trump has made in his first month in the White House, there´s no doubt that the most intense is the Muslim ban, given the fact that this executive order prohibited the entrance of people from seven Muslim countries to the U.S., which created a colossal reaction from people who stood against it. Naturally, several companies also showed a strong position against the order, but Uber actually wanted to take advantage of it and ended up failing miserably.

Believe it or not, while New York City´s yellow taxi drivers stopped working in protest against Trump´s Muslim ban, Uber suspended its surge pricing, which made the firm to capitalize on this particular situation. As expected, there was a huge #DeleteUber backlash against the app, and to quell this situation, the company´s CEO Travis Kalanick decided to create a $3 million legal fund to support its drivers that are impacted by the ban.

Uber Has Several Sexual Controversies 

Although this might be difficult to believe, Uber has also faced major controversies regarding sexual harassment, which is always a really vile element that tends to severely harm a company´s image and reputation. Unfortunately, the fact is that there have been so much anecdotal reports from women passengers of sexual assault and harassment that the company claimed last year that it was aware of 175 rides where these allegations were made across all of its journeys in a period of three years, five of which were rapes.

Believe it or not, the situation got to the point in which Uber settled a lawsuit brought by two women in November 2016, who assured the company was responsible for their sexual assaults by Uber drivers, who were actually contractors rather than employees. In fact, a former employee called Susan Fowler published terrible claims against Uber in this disturbing issue, in which she explained how even a manager openly propositioned her for sexual intercourse during her first team on Uber´s team.

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