Uber, Lyft suspend driver who secretly livestreamed his passengers on Twitch

The driver filmed and live streamed his passengers and their interactions with him on Twitch, a service commonly used to stream video games, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported.

Jason Gargac has driven for both Uber and rival ridesharing service Lyft since March, but he also ran an online video stream while driving passengers around St. Louis. Gargac said he earned $3,500 from the streaming, through subscriptions, donations and tips.

But some riders told the newspaper their privacy had been violated and they didn't know they were livestreamed and wouldn't have consented.

As he operates in Missouri, Gargac's actions are legally sound.

Gargac could not be reached for comment Sunday.

"The safety and comfort of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we have deactivated this driver", a Lyft statement said. "I've done that", he added, "for now".

"Passengers have included children, drunk college students and unwitting public figures such as a local TV news reporter and Jerry Cantrell, lead guitarist with the band Alice in Chains", writes Post-Dispatch.

In an interview with the St Louis Post Dispatch, Gargac said he had enlisted the help of his wife to remove any racist, homophobic or overly sexual comments. "We are not expecting to be broadcast, recorded, livestreamed". In some cases, full names were revealed, along with people's homes.

Uber has been under intense scrutiny over incidents of misbehaviour by drivers.

'This better be content, I swear to God.

There's no indication that Mr Gargac's conduct was illegal as Missouri is a one-party consent.

The revelation, though, has provoked debate about privacy, ethics and its legality - even though an Uber spokesperson said the practice is not against Missouri law. In the streams, passengers would enter his vehicle and be recorded by a front-facing camera that Gargac had attached to his windshield, the publication reports.

"It's a fact-by-fact case", Pate said, "and I don't think there have been any court decisions to deal with this particular issue". "You may not have violated the law, but people certainly feel violated".

Following questions from the newspaper, Uber said it had suspended Mr Gargac.

A driver employed by both Uber and Lyft has been fired for livestreaming his jobs online.

Bryant Greening, a lawyer at LegalRideshare, a Chicago-based law firm that represents ride-hailing drivers and customers said he encourages drivers to use dashboard cameras for security reasons. This month a man suspected of being the "ride-share rapist", who posed as an Uber driver in... Gargac's Twitch account, "JustSmurf", was pulled from the website this weekend.


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