Uber suspends driver after he secretly videotaped his passengers

Uber driver creepily livestreams videos of his passengers on Twitch

Jason Gargac, based in St. Louis, US, talked about his videos in an interview with The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday. The article has been updated to reflect that.

The Twitch spokesman said the company does not comment on specific cases.

But the paper notes Gargac appeared to contradict that statement in an interview, saying he started driving for Uber and Lyft with the goal of hosting the livestream.

An Uber driver in St. Louis, Missouri has been suspended by the company after a local newspaper reported that he frequently streamed videos of his passengers online without their consent.

Gargac himself often commented on his passengers before they got in the vehicle and again after he had dropped them off.

Missouri is a one-party-consent state, which means one person recording a conversation with another unwitting person is technically legal.

"I feel violated. I'm embarrassed", said one, who reportedly asked to not be identified. He tweeted that "transparency is always key" and has removed the videos from his Twitch channel as "step #1 of trying to calm everyone down".

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Viewers would comment on how the women looked and rate their attractiveness, while others would mock what the passengers were talking about or the neighborhoods where they lived.

Gargac himself is openly judgmental about the women he picks up, commenting to his viewers about their appearances before they get in his vehicle and making remarks after he drops them off. It said passengers rarely noticed the camera, and when they did Gargac would often say he was recording them for safety reasons, rather than admitting to livestreaming.

He referred to them as "content" for his live-streaming platform.

There are a handful of other Twitch steamers who record their Uber and Lyft trips, but majority tell their passengers that they are on camera, which is better than nothing.

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". "We have ended our partnership with this driver".

CNET reached out to Uber and Lyft for comment but did not receive an immediate reply. It only takes the knowledge and consent of one participant in a conversation for its recording to be legal in the midwestern state.

"Under our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, we do not allow people to share content that invades others' privacy". But Twitch's community guidelines expressly prohibit content that violates a person's privacy.

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