Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Uber suspends driver Jason Gargac after he livestreamed passengers

Uber suspends driver Jason Gargac after he livestreamed passengers

The driver, identified by The St. Louis Post Dispatch as 32-year-old Jason Gargac, filmed his interactions with passengers using a small camera mounted on his windshield and streamed the footage on Twitch, a streaming service popular with gamers.

Twitch did not respond to the Post-Dispatch's requests for comment for the story, but said in a statement after publication that the service would remove content in response to complaints from people who say their privacy was violated.

He said the streams were "secondary" but added "I try to capture the natural interactions between myself and the passengers - what a Lyft and Uber ride actually is".

Gargac was suspended by Uber on Saturday following a profile report into his behavior by the St Louis Post Dispatch.

On Sunday, however, as news of Gargac's scheme circulated around the internet, his actions were repeatedly summarized in one word: creepy.

Uber told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Gargac's behaviour was "troubling" and that the videos were not in line with its community standards.

"I've had a few offline conversations with some folks, and they suggested getting rid of the stored vods as step #1 of trying to calm everyone down", he said, referring to on-demand videos on Twitch.

Uber and Lyft have suspended a driver following a report that he livestreamed passengers without their expressed consent. People were sometimes named in the videos, the Post-Dispatch said, while homes were also shown. "I've done that", he added, "for now".

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"We're really dealing with a law that was developed just during the time of audio recording", Stewart said.

"This better be (expletive) content, I swear to God".

Due to Missouri's "one-party consent" law, in which only one party needs to agree to be recorded for it to be legal (in this case, Gargac is the consenting one), what Gargac is doing is perfectly legal.

Rosenblat said Gargac was not the only driver to record and share recordings of passengers without their knowledge.

Gargac's live stream channel was also removed from Twitch. But Twitch's community guidelines expressly prohibit content that violates a person's privacy.

July 21, 2018, 10:37 p.m. EDT The article has been updated to include a comment from Twitch.

Before it disappeared, Gargac's channel had about 4,500 followers and about 100 subscribers who paid $5 a month to support his broadcasts. It said passengers rarely noticed the camera, and when they did Gargac would often say he was recording them for safety reasons, rather than acknowledging the livestream.

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