Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Call for Uber to Fire Emil Michael following "dig up dirt on reporters who run uncomplimentary news stories" suggestion

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumer Federation of California today called on Uber to fire Senior Vice President Emil Michael, after news reports revealed that Mr. Michael recently suggested at a dinner attended by journalist that the $18 billion corporation should spend a million dollars on an investigation to dig up dirt on reporters who run uncomplimentary news stories.

The target of Emil Michael's proposed smear campaign is Sarah Lacy, the editor of the Silicon Valley website PandoDaily, who criticized Uber's advertising promotion that promised to pair riders in France with drivers it described as "incredibly hot chicks", linked to a website with models scantily clad in underwear.

It was also recently revealed that Uber violated the privacy of a BuzzFeed News reporter, Johana Bhuiyan, when the corporation's general manager in New York accessed her ride history without her permission.

"Uber's arrogance knows no bounds. Uber's contempt for privacy and a free press begins in its executive suite. The company endangers passengers by evading well-established transportation industry insurance, safety and fare regulations. It runs ads that are an invitation to sexual abuse of female drivers, and it contemplates dirty trick campaigns against those who dare to point out the company's many flaws," stated Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California. "Uber should fire Emil Michael. It's time for Uber to learn the rules of fair play that Americans expect."

This year, Uber hired a stable of lobbyists to fight consumer advocates who were supporting California legislation or PUC regulations that would have required transportation network corporations (TNCs) including Uber to provide adequate liability insurance the moment a driver began searching for a passenger. CFC and other consumer groups withdrew support when the legislation was amended to reduce TNC insurance liability requirements.

The non-profit Consumer Federation of California has fought for consumer rights since 1960.
SOURCE Consumer Federation of California

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