Uber and Lyft suspend driver who secretly live-streamed passengers

Publish Date: 2018-07-23


 Uber and Lyft suspended a driver during the weekend who secretly live-streamed hundreds of passengers on the video platform Twitch, according to a report.


Nearly all of the driver’s 700 rides in the St. Louis area were recorded online, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Several passengers contacted by the newspaper said they did not know their rides had been live-streamed, the Post-Dispatch reported, and they said they would not have given the driver permission to record them if they had known.

The recordings and suspension raise pressing questions about consumer privacy and consent. Missouri is among the states that require only one party to consent to recordings. Uber did not immediately respond to questions about the suspension, including whether the ride-hailing company has policies for live-streaming passengers.

Lyft said in a statement to The Washington Post that “the safety and comfort of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we have deactivated this driver.”

The driver, 32-year-old Jason Gargac, streamed his videos on Twitch under the username “JustSmurf,” according to the Post-Dispatch, but his channel no longer contains videos. “Sorry. Unless you’ve got a time machine, that content is unavailable,” Twitch tells users on his page. (Twitch is owned by Amazon.com, whose chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, owns The Washington Post.)

Bryant Greening, a lawyer at LegalRideshare, a Chicago-based law firm that represents ride-hailing drivers and customers said he encourages drivers to use dashboard cameras for security reasons. Recordings can document evidence for accident and insurance claims. But the Missouri live streams, he said, represent a breach of trust. “It’s a totally different story to have a ride-share driver record passengers conservations and passenger actions for the purpose of boosting their brand, or entertaining followers, or embarrassing individuals who get in the car.”

Source:The Washington Post

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