Uber Suspends Driver in Response to Live-Streaming on Twitch

By Karen Rice — Published July 22, 2018

Uber Suspends Driver in Response to Live-Streaming on Twitch

When entering a ridesharing car, you probably wouldn’t cast a second thought to the notion of privacy.  However, St Louis, Missouri passengers should think again. One ridesharing driver has been live streaming passenger conversations directly onto the internet and more often than not when the passengers are completely unaware that this is happening.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that Jason Gargac, Uber and Lyft driver, has been broadcasting passenger conversations directly onto Twitch without their knowledge or consent. He has both rear and front-facing cameras that show the entire car and its surroundings which are worth around $3,000. He has more than 4,000 Twitch followers, 100 of which pay a monthly subscription to his channel.

Gargac drives with a sticker on his car, claiming that upon entering his car, passengers automatically consent to being recorded for 'security' purposes. Despite this, there is no mention of live-streaming. St Louis Post Dispatch claim that Gargac has been taking advantage of Missouri's one-party content laws that legalize one-party recording of conversations. Although Gargac claims to mute addresses as well as inappropriate content, it is still possible to identify passengers and in some of the live streams, full names and neighborhoods have been revealed. What's more, most customers have claimed that they wouldn't have entered the car had they known their conversations and actions were being live-streamed onto the internet.

Both Lyft and Uber have responded with statements stating that drivers must obey local laws which seems to prevent the state from being able to take action. Uber has since offered affected passengers credit and shut off Gargac's access to the driver app until they come to an official resolution. They stated "The troubling behavior in the videos is not in line with our Community Guidelines. The driver's access to the app has been removed while we evaluate his partnership with Uber." Although Gargac's actions have been within state laws, Uber's guidelines aim to prevent any kind of "inappropriate or disrespectful behavior". Twitch has failed to respond to this particular case, however, have commented that their guidelines prevent people from sharing content that is an infringement of privacy.

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