Uber’s scandals, blunders and PR tragedies: the full list

The company has had a apparently never-ending string of blunders, from its controversial CEO to questionable tactics and sexual harassment claims

Uber has been rocked by a steady river of scandals and negative publicity in recent years, including revelations of questionable spy programs, a high-stakes technology suit, claims of sexual harassment and discrimination and embarrassing leaks about executive conduct.

The PR calamities culminated in CEO Travis Kalanick taking an indefinite leave of absence the coming week and promises of bold reform that largely ignored the ride-hailing companys strained relationship with drivers.

Here is a timeline of some of the most consequential controversies.

Boob-er backlash, February 2014

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick faced backlash for a sexist joke about his increasing desirability, telling an Esquire reporter: We call that Boob-er.

Targeting the competitor, August 2014

Uber faced accusations that it booked thousands of fake rides from its challenger Lyft in an effort to cut into its earnings and services. Uber recruiters also allegedly spammed Lyft drivers in an effort to recruit them away from the rival.

The God View scandal, November 2014

Uber executive Emil Michael suggested digging up dirt on journalists and spreading personal information of a female reporter who was critical of the company. He afterward apologized. It was also revealed that Uber has a so-called God View technology that allows the company to track users locations, raising privacy concerns. One manager had accessed the profile of a reporter without her permission.

Snooping on Beyonc, December 2016

A former forensic examiner for Uber testified that employees regularly spied on politicians, exes and celebrities, including Beyonc.

Self-driving pilot failure, December 2016

Regulators in California ordered Uber to remove self-driving vehicles from the road after the company launched a pilot without permits. On the first day of the program, the vehicles were caught operating red lights, and cycling proponents in San Francisco also raised concerns about the cars making hazards in motorcycle lanes. The company blamed red-light issues on human error, but the New York Times subsequently claimed that the companys statements were false and that the autonomous technology failed.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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