Uber has suspended a driver after he secretly livestreamed his passengers on Twitch, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Jason Gargac had an audience of thousands and said he tried to "capture the natural interactions between myself and the ...and more »
Uber suspends driver Jason Gargac after he livestreamed passengers - Business Insider
Footage from a Jason Gargac livestream.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch/YouTubeUber has suspended a driver after he was found to have secretly livestreamed his passengers on Twitch, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Jason Gargac had an audience of thousands and said he tried to "capture the natural interactions between myself and the passengers."
He reportedly filmed customers including children, college students, and a few public figures.
He also drove for Lyft, which the Post-Dispatch said terminated its partnership with him.
Uber has suspended a driver found to have secretly livestreamed his passengers' journeys on the video-sharing website Twitch, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Jason Gargac, based in St. Louis, told the Post-Dispatch about his videos in an article published Friday. His channel was public on Twitch, under the name JustSmurf, while he also tweeted about his videos.
But the Post-Dispatch article raised questions about Gargac's actions from privacy and ethical perspectives, and Uber and Lyft, which he also drove for, condemned his actions. The Twitch videos were subsequently removed, and Gargac's tweets are now private.
Uber, Lyft, and Twitch did not respond immediately to Business Insider's request for comment.
Uber told the Post-Dispatch that Gargac's behavior was "troubling" and that the videos were not in line with its community standards. "The driver's access to the app has been removed while we evaluate his partnership with Uber," it added. Lyft has "deactivated" Gargac as a driver, according to the newspaper.
Twitch did not comment to the newspaper on the case. Before his channel was taken down, Gargac had 4,500 followers and about 100 subscribers, who paid $5 a month to watch his uploads.
You can watch one of his videos below:
Gargac reportedly streamed most of his more than 700 rides, with customers reportedly including children, college students, and public figures including a local TV news reporter and the Alice in Chains lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell. People were sometimes named in the videos, the Post-Dispatch said, while homes were also shown.
"I try to capture the natural interactions between myself and the passengers — what a Lyft and Uber ride actually is," Gargac told the Post-Dispatch.
The newspaper reviewed hours of Gargac's footage. It said passengers rarely noticed the camera, and when they did Gargac would often say he was recording them for safety reasons, rather than acknowledging the livestream. Missouri law allows people to record others without their consent.
Gargac said telling customers about the filming produced contrived results. "I didn't like it," he said. "It was fake. It felt produced." He added: "I love doing it."
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