Uber has permanently banned a driver for his creepy practice of live streaming footage of his passengers without their consent.
Hundreds of Uber and Lyft rides in the St. Louis area were recorded by the driver, Jason Gargac, over the video platform Twitch as a form of entertainment to his online audience. However, almost none of the passengers were told they were being filmed, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which reported on Gargac’s Twitch channel last week.
On Monday, Uber told PCMag: “The troubling behavior in the videos is not in line with our user terms and Community Guidelines. We have ended our partnership with this driver.”
Lyft has also “deactivated” Gargac’s driver status. “The safety and comfort of the Lyft community is our top priority,” it said.
According to the Dispatch, Gargac filmed plenty of embarrassing footage no one would want made public. The videos included passengers kissing, throwing up, and talking trash about friends and relatives. In some cases, full names were revealed, along with people’s homes. However, Gargac rarely told his passengers he was live streaming.
On top of all this, viewers on his Twitch channel routinely made sexual comments about his passengers and mocked them.
Gargac also told the Dispatch he wasn’t breaking the law, and pointed to Missouri’s one-party consent rule on electronic communications. Nevertheless, the companies enabling his live streaming decided to intervene. His Twitch channel is no longer hosting any videos and has been suspended.
The incident is stirring up debate over video cameras inside ride-hailing car services. Uber, for instance, does permit drivers to use dash cameras, but only for the purposes of safety. However, a company spokesman said it plans on clarifying its policies around video cam footage soon.