Uber suspends driver who live-streamed passengers

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch  YouTubeFootage from a Jason Gargac live-stream

Ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft have both suspended a driver's accounts after learning he livestreamed videos of his passengers without their consent.

The videos revealed passengers' personal information and their private conversations.

In a statement to ABC News America, Uber and Lyft said "the troubling behaviour in our videos is not in line with our ommunity guidelines".

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.

Sometimes, to confirm who they are for their driver, the passengers say their full names.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Mr Gargac streamed videos of passengers inside his vehicle to video-streaming website Twitch. He also regularly talks about wanting to get more "content", meaning interesting people, and is open about the fact that he doesn't want passengers to know they are on camera.

Gargac claimed that the primary goal 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. However, Gargac told the Post-Dispatch that one of the key differences in his streams compared to those already on the service is that he didn't ask his passengers for permission, believing it resulted in a "fake" experience.

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CNET reached out to Uber and Lyft for comment but did not receive an immediate reply. "Recording passengers without their consent is illegal in some states, but not Missouri".

While Missouri law allows a person to film another without their consent-so Gargac was not breaking the law-Uber has nonetheless made a decision to suspend him from their app, calling the revelations "troubling", reports Business Insider.

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.

July 21, 2018, 10:37 p.m. EDT The article has been updated to include a comment from Twitch. "The driver's access to the app has been removed while we evaluate his partnership with Uber", it added. He added: "I love doing it". A Twitch spokesman said the company's terms of service and guidelines "do not allow people to share content that invades others' privacy" and that any reported videos would be removed.

Gargac said he is just trying to "capture the natural interactions between myself and the passengers".

Before it disappeared, Gargac's channel had about 4,500 followers and about 100 subscribers who paid $5 a month to support his broadcasts.

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