Uber, Lyft Driver Suspended for Live-Streaming Passengers
ST. LOUIS, MO. – July 23, 2018 (washingtonpost.com) As reported online by washingtonpost.com, a Missouri driver for Uber and Lyft has been suspended after it came to light that he was live-streaming his passengers.*
Reports indicate 32-year-old Jason Gargac, of St. Louis, Missouri, was a driver for the ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft and had been recording and live-streaming passengers during their rides. He did so using a media platform called Twitch, which is owned by Amazon.com. Nearly all of the 700 rides he gave while working for the companies were live-streamed onto Twitch without passengers’ knowledge or consent.
Several passengers were contacted by reporters and said they did not know they had been recorded and would not have allowed it if they had known. However, Missouri joins the majority of states in the U.S. in only requiring the consent of one person for legal recordings. In other words, if one of the people involved in the recording, like Gargac, is aware of the recording, no state privacy laws have been violated. In fact, Uber and Lyft sometimes encourage their drivers to record rides for purposes of security and insurance claims.
That said, the live-streaming raises questions of ethics and was not carried out in the interests of safety and clarity in the event of an accident. Gargac’s livestreaming appeared to have been an effort to gain Twitch followers, entertain his current followers, and embarrass his passengers.
In a statement, Uber said: “The troubling behavior in the videos is not in line with our Community Guidelines. We have ended our partnership with this driver.”
Likewise, Lyft said in a statement: “[T]he safety and comfort of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we have deactivated this driver.”
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