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Driver who livestreamed passengers without their consent suspended from Uber and Lyft

26 July, 2018, 00:31 | Author: Vicki Mclaughlin
  • Jason Gargac2

Jason Gargac, who drives for both Uber and Lyft, has given out 700 rides in St Louis since March and the majority of them were broadcast live on Twitch without permission from those inside his vehicle. Anonymous viewers online often commented on riders' conversations and left sexual or offensive comments about female passengers' bodies.

The decision followed a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Jason Gargac, a U.S. Army Veteran, had set up purple lights and a pair of cameras that broadcast a live stream of passengers to viewers on Twitch.

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 was not breaking any laws in Missouri as local regulations allow a person to record others without their consent.

Jason Gargac, based in St. Louis, US, talked about his videos in an interview with The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday.

Gargac has emphasized that he added a 4-inch square sticker on his rear passenger window that read, "Notice: For security this vehicle is equipped with audio and visual recording devices". "We got in an Uber at 2 a.m.to be safe, and then I find out that, because of that, everything I said in that auto is online and people are watching me".

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Twitch explained that they "do not comment on terms of service violations in regards to a specific individuals" and "do not allow people to share content that invades other's privacy". In some cases, full names were revealed, along with people's homes.

Gargac told the newspaper that he sought out passengers who might make entertaining content, part of capturing and sharing the everyday reactions that earned him a small but growing following online. Gargac's Twitch account, "JustSmurf", was pulled from the website this weekend. Since these actions need to be taken preemptively, Gargac is not guaranteed to have the ultimate control. Both companies said he violated their community guidelines for drivers, but neither company answered questions about drivers livestreaming.

And this is why Gargac appears to be in the clear, legally: Missouri law doesn't require Gargac to let his passengers in on the fact that they're being recorded.

"Particularly if there was something very private and embarrassing released about them", he said.

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