March 19, 2019


4 Corners last night revealed Uber used spyware to hack into rival rideshare companies, to steal data on their drivers so they could contact them and lure them over to Uber.


The company also used to spyware to close down accounts of government investigators who were monitoring the company’s illegal operations when it arrived in Australia in 2014.


“Uber broke the law by hacking into other companies and stealing people’s private information. It also used spyware to attack government investigations into its operations. Australia needs to protect companies and workers against aggressive and illegal tactics by multinational corporations.  We need a thorough investigation into Uber and to put in place robust regulation to ensure this does not happen again,” said Tony Sheldon, TWU’s coordinator on the on-demand economy.


“Despite repeated pleas, the Federal Government has stood by and refused to take a coordinated approach to Uber, which since it set up illegally five years ago has instituted exploitation among the drivers working for the company. Uber aggressively picked off each Australian state and set up shop, forcing thousands of Australians to go out of business. The company has also admitted to siphoning off its Australian earnings to the Netherlands to avoid paying tax here. Our entire community is paying the price for this company and is getting nothing in return,” he added.


“Uber is nothing more than a ponzi scheme set up to fool investors head of its public sale this year. It is just an elaborate charade built on lies using whatever illegal tactics it can to eliminate competitors and oversight,” Sheldon said.


A survey of over 1,100 rideshare drivers across various platforms, 97% of whom work for Uber, shows the average pay is just $16 per hour before fuel, insurance and other costs are taken out. One in 10 drivers has been physically assaulted while 6% have been sexually assaulted.


Ridershare drivers have faced deaths threats from passengers towards them and their families, rape threats, sexual assault, being punched in the face, held at knifepoint, had their car windows broken, their cars stolen and have received racial abuse. They have been immediately deactivated from the ride-share apps when passengers leave wallets in their cars or when passengers make entirely false reports. Almost two-thirds of drivers have had false reports by passengers.

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