Uber & Lyft Driver Caught Livestreaming His Passengers On Twitch

26 July, 2018, 00:33 | Author: Rickey Flowers
  • While it’s perfectly acceptable for Uber and Lyft drivers to record for their own safety. Maybe this was taking it a bit too far

Jason Gargac, who drives for both Uber and Lyft, has given out 700 rides in St Louis since March and the majority of them were broadcast live on Twitch without permission from those inside his vehicle.

Many viewers of Mr Gargac's videos left derogatory comments on the videos, rating passengers for their attractiveness. If a passenger would notice the camera, Gargac would tell them he was filming for safety reasons instead of letting them know they were being live-streamed.

Regardless, Uber said Gargac's behavior was a breach of their standards and suspended him while they investigated. His channel was public on Twitch, under the name JustSmurf, while he also tweeted about his videos.

The ride-hailing companies disclaim liability for drivers actions in their terms of service, and riders waive their rights to sue when using the services, Stewart said. The state allows for recording conversations under a one party consent law.

"The troubling behavior in the videos is not in line with our Community Guidelines", a company statement said.

According to the St. Lous Post-Dispatch, a 32-year-old driver named Jason Gargac has streamed almost all of the 700 rides he's given since March directly on Twitch through an account called "JustSmurf". On Twitch, Gargac has amassed 4,350 followers and around 1000 of them pay a minimum of $5 a month to subscribe to his channel and indirectly offer financial support.

Passengers did not always know they were being recorded. Courtesy BBC
Passengers did not always know they were being recorded. Courtesy BBC

According to the Post-Dispatch, Gargac displayed a small sticker on the back passenger window informing passengers that his auto was "equipped with audio and visual recording devices" for security purposes.

But the paper notes Gargac appeared to contradict that statement in an interview, saying he started driving for Uber and Lyft with the objective of hosting the livestream. "The driver's access to the app has been removed while we evaluate his partnership with Uber", it added.

Despite the fact that the livestreams were technically legal, Gargac did delete all the videos on Saturday, once his true colors were exposed by the St Louis Dispatch.

Gargac said he's trying to "capture the natural interactions between myself and the passengers", and he films for security purposes, as well. Lyft has "deactivated" its relationship with Gargac, according to the newspaper. People were sometimes named in the videos, while homes were also shown.

"Particularly if there was something very private and embarrassing released about them", he said. "It was fake. It felt produced", the driver said. "I've done that", he added, "for now".

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