Uber and Lyft driver fired for secretly livestreaming hundreds of passengers

Uber and Lyft driver fired for secretly livestreaming hundreds of passengers

Uber and Lyft driver fired for secretly livestreaming hundreds of passengers

Hundreds of Uber and Lyft rides in the St. Louis area were recorded by the driver, Jason Gargac, over the video platform Twitch as a form of entertainment to his online audience.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jason Gargac of Florissant, Missouri had streamed over 700 rides since March. Though Gargac's Twitch channel is down, you can see one of his past live streams below.

Both Uber and Lyft said in statements that Gargac was deactivated from the ride-sharing apps.

At several points in the dozens of hours of archived footage, passengers noticed the camera and asked Gargac why he's recording them.

Uber and Lyft have suspended a driver following a report that he livestreamed passengers without their expressed consent.

On Saturday, Gargac tweeted that "transparency is always key" and that he had removed videos from his Twitch channel as "step #1 of trying to calm everyone down". His Twitch channel is no longer hosting any videos and has been suspended.

"Driver partners are responsible for complying with the law when providing trips, including privacy laws", an Uber spokesman said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier this month.

In some instances, the passengers confirmed their full names to Gargac during the broadcast without him ever informing them that they were being recorded.

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An Uber spokeswomen told CNET: "the troubling behaviour in the videos is not in line with our community guidelines".

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. "I've done that", he added, "for now". They have come under scrutiny for the oversight of their drivers, which they consider independent contractors and not employees.

Twitch did not comment on this specific case but, according to ABC News America, said it does not allow people to share content that invades others privicay.

The act of live streaming passengers without consent is technically legal in the state of Missouri, which is why Lyft and Uber didn't suspend Gargac immediately.

"Stick with my first name, if you can, because privacy concerns", he told the Post-Dispatch.

As the incidents took place in Missouri, no laws have been broken.

"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".

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