Whistleblower at Uber: Lobbyist Mark MacGann comes forward

Whistleblower at Uber: Lobbyist Mark MacGann comes out

The company’s approach was essentially to break the law, to show how point his service was extraordinary, then to change the law, he explains.

Mark MacGann spoke to the investigative reporter at The Guardian.

The whistleblower and former senior lobbyist for The Guardian Uber Mark MacGann claims the company knowingly flouted the laws of dozens of countries in order to gain a foothold in the market.

Mr. MacGann, 52, confirmed he was behind the data leak that exposed disputed practices by ride-hailing firm Uber in an interview broadcast by The Guardian.

The lobbyist sat alongside the company's most senior executives during the period it established itself in global markets, between 2014 and 2016.

“The company's approach […] was basically to break the law, to show how point Uber's service was amazing, then to change the law. »

— Mark MacGann, former Uber lobbyist and whistleblower

Uber's modus operandi was to win over city officials, build relationships with government leaders and to negotiate. It also had to deal with damage.

Mr. MacGann was amazed at the ease with which Uber insidiously penetrated the highest levels of power in countries like UK, France and Russia.

A behind-the-scenes game that he describes as deeply unfair and undemocratic.

During his years at Uber, Mr. MacGann was helpless in the face of the slippages of the US-based company. United States. It was resistant to criticism from its employees, a practice it condemned, he explains.

The data he himself has disclosed show little resistance on its part to Uber's questionable practices.

This culture of silence began to plague him, as well as two years of overwork during which Mr. MacGann says he worked 8 p.m. every weekday, which would have prevented him from taking a step back. .

“I regret being part of a group of people who manipulated drivers, customers and political elites .

—Mark MacGann

I should have used more common sense and pushed harder to end this madness. It is my duty to speak out and help governments and parliamentarians fix some fundamental mistakes. Morally, I had no choice, he said.

His psychological health continued to deteriorate when Mr. MacGann learned of the death of a close friend in 2018. This event prompted him to undergo therapy until 2019 which left him ;encouraged introspection.

I broke out of the corporate cycle for the first time in decades. I emerged with a new sense of clarity about everything that was going on at Uber, he says.

This chain of events convinced Mr. MacGann to disclose – six years after leaving Uber – incriminating internal documents about the company founded in 2010.

So that's 124,000 files, including 83,000 emails, text messages between Uber's most senior executives as well as memos, presentations and invoices that were sent to the Guardian,< /em> shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Radio-Canada's Enquête show.

These files, which range from 2013 to 2017, highlight a time when Uber was aggressively growing and often prevailing by flouting taxi industry regulations in many cities around the world, including Canada.

< p class="e-p">After MacGann identified himself as the whistleblower behind this data breach, Uber said: We understand that Mark has personal regrets over his years of unwavering loyalty to our former management , but he's not in a position to speak credibly about Uber today.

A with information from The Guardian

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