Uber, Lyft Driver Suspended for Recording St. Louis Passengers

26 July, 2018, 00:35 | Author: Rodolfo Hawkins
  • Uber suspended a driver in the US for streaming videos of his passengers without their consent

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

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that 32-year-old Jason Gargac, who had driven for the service since March, had installed a camera on his dashboard and live-stream video of his passengers without their knowledge to online streaming service Twitch. 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. What's more, some of those people paid to watch you, commenting on your appearance, sometimes explicitly, or musing about your livelihood.

But here's the twist: It's completely legal, despite ethical questions raised regarding passengers' privacy. This month a man suspected of being the "ride-share rapist", who posed as an Uber driver in...

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".

Alexandra LaManna, a spokesperson for Lyft, said, "The safety and comfort of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we have deactivated this driver".

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Gargac made $150 to $300 nightly from his ride-sharing jobs, he told the newspaper. But the Missouri live streams, he said, represent a breach of trust.

Lyft also suspended Mr Gargac.

But some riders told the newspaper their privacy had been violated and they didn't know they were livestreamed and wouldn't have consented. "I'm embarrassed. 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. It makes me sick".

Garcac's Twitch channel was taken down over the weekend. Since these actions need to be taken preemptively, Gargac is not guaranteed to have the ultimate control. He asked a Post-Dispatch reporter to not use his full name in the story, to protect his privacy. He said it in one of his own videos, and his identity was later confirmed through public records and social media accounts. "You know, the internet is a insane place". 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. Gargac told the publication that he is not the only one streaming rides on the platform. "Recording passengers without their consent is illegal in some states, but not Missouri".

"We're really dealing with a law that was developed just during the time of audio recording", Stewart said. It said passengers rarely noticed the camera, and when they did Gargac would often say he was recording them for safety reasons, rather than acknowledging the livestream. "I didn't like it", he said.


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