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Uber


Self Description

December 2013: "Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 50 cities today, Uber's rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer."

http://https://www.uber.com/about

Third-Party Descriptions

April 2016: 'Much of the reporting on algorithms thus far has focused on their impact on marginalized groups. ProPublica’s story on The Princeton Review, called “The Tiger-Mom Tax,” found that Asian families were almost twice as likely to be quoted the highest of three possible prices for an SAT tutoring course, and that income alone didn’t account for the pricing scheme. A team of journalism students at the University of Maryland, meanwhile, found that Uber wait times were longer in non-white areas in DC.'

http://www.cjr.org/innovations/investigating_algorithms.php

July 2015: "The model for these big new disruptors, like Uber (for rides) and Airbnb (for rooms), in the so-called sharing economy is simple: 1) Make markets, while treating workers as independent contractors or eliminating them altogether, 2) Build scale quickly and then negotiate from strength with would-be regulators, 3) Use the money they're raking in to sway if possible and crush if not any politician who tries to interfere with (1) or (2)."

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/23/opinions/siegel-uber-de-blasio/index.html

December 2014: "But here’s one thing they do love to share: risk. Uber grew by heaping it on many drivers, asking them to push damage claims through their personal insurance companies while knowing that those companies did not cover commercial activity."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/06/your-money/airbnb-offers-homeowner-liability-coverage-but-hosts-still-have-risks.html

May 2014: 'This week I attended a conference here called “SHARE: Catalyzing the New Sharing Economy.” As I learned from my fellow attendees — and as you may already know from reading about taxi-drivers’ scuffles with Uber or the New York attorney general’s battles with Airbnb — the app-based “sharing economy” is vast and growing.'

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/catherine-rampell-paying-for-your-fair-share-in-an-app-based-economy/2014/05/15/007da348-dc66-11e3-8009-71de85b9c527_story.html

December 2013: 'People who had been enjoying their evening festivities and taken an Uber ride home realized somewhere along the way they were being charged more than $100 for a ride that should have cost $20. Customers soon learned that Uber had put “surge pricing” into effect, which increases the price of rides as more people request them.'

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/customers-out-in-the-cold-balk-at-uber-surge-pricing/

Relationships

RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Founded/Co-Founded by Travis Kalanick Person Dec 19, 2013

Articles and Resources

Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at:
Jul 10, 2016 Police used a robot to kill -- The key questions

QUOTE: While there are links to the discussion on the future of killer robots, known as LAWS (lethal autonomous weapons systems), there are also three important differences to keep in mind.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Apr 14, 2016 Investigating the algorithms that govern our lives

QUOTE: Venkatasubramanian is a computer science professor at the University of Utah. He’s someone who thinks about algorithmic fairness, ever since he read a short story by Cory Doctorow published in 2006, called “Human Readable.” The story takes place in a future world, similar to ours, but in which all national infrastructure (traffic, email, the media, etc.) is run by “centralized emergent networks,” modeled after ant colonies. Or in other words: a network of algorithms. The plot revolves around two lovers: a network engineer who is certain the system is incorruptible, and a lawyer who knows it’s already been corrupted. “It got me thinking,” says Venkatasubramanian. “What happens if we live in a world that is totally driven by algorithms?”

Columbia Journalism Review (CJR)
Jul 23, 2015 Uber wins, liberals lose

QUOTE: The model for these big new disruptors, like Uber (for rides) and Airbnb (for rooms), in the so-called sharing economy is simple: 1) Make markets, while treating workers as independent contractors or eliminating them altogether, 2) Build scale quickly and then negotiate from strength with would-be regulators, 3) Use the money they're raking in to sway if possible and crush if not any politician who tries to interfere with (1) or (2).

CNN (Cable News Network)
Dec 05, 2014 A Liability Risk for Airbnb Hosts

QUOTE: And now comes Airbnb with its free $1 million liability coverage that will cover the hosts for its tens of thousands of United States listings. How can it afford to provide this for nothing, to everybody? Well, it is “secondary” coverage, which means that it, too, wants hosts to push any claims for guests’ injuries and deaths through hosts’ own insurance companies first. So how might that work in practice, or would it at all? ...One thing came through loud and clear from the handful of companies that did not dodge my inquiries entirely: Most homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies do not cover regular commercial activity in the home.

International New York Times
May 15, 2014 What preschoolers can teach Silicon Valley about “sharing”

QUOTE: At its most benign, calling things “sharing” that are actually no different from traditional commerce is just empty marketing....more perniciously, this semantic sleight of hand has been used to justify tax evasion and other kinds of law-skirting. Of course you shouldn’t have to pay hotel taxes if you’re just “sharing” your home!

Washington Post
Dec 16, 2013 Customers Out in the Cold Balk at Uber Surge Pricing

QUOTE: On New Year’s Eve 2011, Uber, a company that connects passengers and drivers of luxury vehicles, had a bit of a falling-out with its customers.....Uber had put “surge pricing” into effect, which increases the price of rides as more people request them.

New York Times