There are hundreds of thousands of leaked Uber documents obtained by The Guardian and shared with various news outlets. These leaked documents show how during its growth and expansion, the aggressive company allegedly employed technology to avoid police investigations, collaborate with government officials, and was involved in violent clashes and protests between uber drivers and taxi operators. These reports by members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists renew the global scrutiny of Uber's most controversial days from 2013 to 2017, a period the firm has attempted to have new leadership. Under the CEO at that time and the co-founder Travis Kalanick, Uber openly had a campaign of worldwide expansion with regulators and taxi drivers a cutthroat campaign of worldwide expansion.
There were mass anti-Uber demonstrations in 2016 led by taxi operators in Paris, and the CEO had been discussing holding a rally of Uber riders and drivers in the city. He is said to have privately suggested that any violent backlash would be "worth it" and would "guarantee success" for the company. The leaked documents revealed that information and reportedly show how Uber capitalized on attacks against its drivers. A spokesman for the CEO, Devon Spurgeon, said that Kalanick has not suggested that Uber should use violence and risk the drivers' safety. According to The Guardian, Uber used a "kill switch" to prevent company data from falling into the hands of law enforcement. This technique was deployed in six countries: France, the Netherlands, Belgium, India, Hungary, and Romania. Furthermore, BBC has reported that Uber had close ties with the French at the time economic minister, Emmanuel Macron, collaborating for a global lobbying campaign. The former Uber CEO and the minister are said to have met at least four times and developed a relationship to change the laws in France and guarantee success for the Uber company.
In a failed effort to expand also in Russia, the Uber CEO has also tried to make collaborations with the Russian president Putin, as the leaked documents have shown. But Kalanick resigned as CEO of Uber in 2017 after a few months of PR crises. There were crises, misunderstandings, and intentions to dodge law enforcement in some US cities. Since then, Uber has tried to change its course and tactics with a new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi.In a statement posted on the Uber website, the company distanced itself from the past mistakes prior to 2017 – these were definitely mistakes that the company surely acknowledged. Plus, the Uber spokesperson said in a statement that "We have not and will not make excuses for past behavior that is clearly not in line with our present values." Adding to this statement, they also said that 90% of Uber's current employees have started working with Uber only after the change of leadership and after a new CEO arrived. The leaked documents show that even though Uber has attempted to move on from its mistakes, this giant company may continue to be affected by its past well into its future from now on.