Tech | July 11, 2022 7:02 am

Leaked Documents Reveal an Unsettling Period in Uber’s History

The documents were from 2013 to 2017

Uber logo
An alarming look inside a familiar service.
Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

They’re known as “the Uber files,” they span the years 2013 to 2017 and there are 124,000 of them. That’s one of the first things you learn about an array of documents that were leaked to The Guardian. The documents offer details about a host of alarming corporate practices and reveal a number of combative and controversial comments made by Travis Kalanick, who was the company’s CEO during the period covered within the leak.

A new report from The Washington Post on some of the findings reveals one such practice — a “kill switch” that could be used to end local offices’ connections to Uber’s global network for instances when regulators or investigators came to review the company’s data.

That wasn’t the only tool Uber used to make investigations more difficult to conduct. The Post article also describes the company releasing a Dawn Raid Manual, which outlined practices employees should engage in in the instance of regulators arriving at an office.

In addition to this, the leaked documents also detailed a company looking to make connections with heads of state — and occasionally speak unflatteringly of governmental representatives who frustrated them.

As significant as these findings are, it’s only part of what we’re about to learn. The Guardian notes that “[m]ore than 180 journalists at 40 media outlets” will be publishing articles about the data in the documents — all of which suggests we’re going to learn a lot more about Uber’s inner workings in the weeks and months to come.