Uber driver suspended after live-streaming passengers on Twitch

Uber driver suspended after live-streaming passengers on Twitch

Uber driver suspended after live-streaming passengers on Twitch

Uber has suspended a driver after he secretly livestreamed his passengers on Twitch, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Passengers' personal details, like first names and occasionally last, were regularly revealed on-air to a shadowy audience of around 4,500 followers and some 100 paying subscribers. Anonymous viewers online often commented on riders' conversations and left sexual or offensive comments about female passengers' bodies.

"It's dehumanizing", one woman passenger told the Post-Dispatch.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jason Gargac of Florissant, Missouri had streamed over 700 rides since March. In Missouri, where the rides took place, only one party needs to give permission to record, which means the taping was legal. The report notes that Gargac took advantage of Missouri's one-party consent laws to build up a following on Twitch by live-streaming passengers including children.

Gargac claimed that the primary objective of the recordings was for security, but also contradicted himself, saying that he started driving for the services in order to create the livestream, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Gargac told the Post Dispatch that the camera was primarily a security measure, saying he knew "if something happens, immediately there can be a response, versus hopefully you'll find my truck in a ditch three weeks later".

The report says that Gargac is not the only one doing so without seeking consent of his passengers. "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 vehicle is online and people are watching me". The company told multiple outlets that they "do not comment on Terms of Service violations in regards to specific individuals" and "do not allow people to share content that invades others' privacy". People were sometimes named in the videos, the Post-Dispatch said, while homes were also shown. The company notes on its help page that some cities and states may require drivers to disclose the presence of recording devices while others may bar recording devices.

Streaming passenger pick-ups is not a new phenomenon on Twitch, which houses an "In Real Life" section where people can stream everyday activities from going to the supermarket, to fitness regimes, cooking and so on.

Uber, Lyft driver livestreamed video of hundreds of passengers, but was it illegal?

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

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