Uber, Lyft Driver Fired For Live-Streaming Hundreds Of Rides
An Uber and Lyft driver has been fired from both ride-sharing apps for live streaming hundreds of customers’ rides in the St. Louis area without their permission.
Although the driver, Jason Gargac, didn’t break any law, given Missouri’s one-party consent recording policy — meaning only the driver, in this case, needed to give permission to record — Gargac’s actions violated Uber’s and Twitch’s community guidelines.
Twitch is a live streaming website for video game players to interact with their audience while playing games online. Gargac, under the user name JustSmurf on the platform, has been secretly recording his Uber and Lyft passangers for the past year.
“I try to capture the natural interactions between myself and the passengers — what a Lyft and Uber ride actually is,” Gargac said in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Some of Gargac’s customers, however, were not happy about being recorded. (RELATED: Uber Partners With Lime, Electric Scooter Rental Company)
“I feel violated. I’m embarrassed,” one passenger, whose identity was not revealed for privacy concerns, told the Post-Dispatch. “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 car is online and people are watching me. It makes me sick.”
“It’s dehumanizing,” another passenger said.
Twitch does not comment on individual terms of service violation, but the platform doesn’t allow for privacy violations. Gargac’s channel no longer exists and it’s unknown if Twitch removed it or if Gargac deleted it himself.
Gargac’s channel, the Post-Dispatch reported, had about 4,500 followers and about 100 subscribers who paid $5 a month to support Gargac before the channel disappeared.
“Under our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, we do not allow people to share content that invades others’ privacy,” a Twitch spokesperson said in a statement, Mashable reported. “If reported to us by the person whose privacy was invaded, we would take action under our Community Guidelines to remove the content.”
“The troubling behavior in the videos is not in line with our Community Guidelines,” an Uber spokesperson said. “The driver’s access to the app has been removed while we evaluate his partnership with Uber.”
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