Uber driver fired after he livestreamed passengers without consent

Posted July 25, 2018

Jim Dempsey, executive director at UC Berkeley School of Law's Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, said the recording may or may not be illegal depending on where the trip is located - in Missouri, for example, you only need one party's consent to legally record a conversation - but that doesn't mean it's fair game to post online for all the world to see.

At the end of a 90-minute in-person interview with the Post-Dispatch, Gargac asked that his full name not be published in connection with this story.

Gargac did have a small sign on a window that stated the vehicle was equipped with recording devices and that "consent" was given when entering the auto, but most passengers did not notice it and he never informed them about the streams.

The recordings and suspension highlight pressing questions about consumer privacy and consent.

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In Missouri and a number of other states, as long as one party knows about the recording - the person doing the recording, for example - it's perfectly legal. Only 11 states mandate that everyone involved in a recording give their consent for it to be lawful, including California, Florida and IL.

In a statement to ABC News America, Uber and Lyft said "the troubling behaviour in our videos is not in line with our ommunity guidelines". "We have ended our partnership with this driver". In 2017, a search for a passenger who stole money from a driver's tip jar was only possible because the driver's dash cam footage was posted.

Lyft also severed ties with Gargac.

Jason Gargac of Florissant, Missouri, had been driving for Uber and Lyft since March, live-streaming most of his rides, which number in excess of 700 for Uber alone, to his Twitch channel, where he went by the alias "JustSmurf". "Sorry. Unless you've got a time machine, that content is unavailable", Twitch tells users on his page.

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Gargac told the Dispatch that he was just capturing "natural interactions between myself and the passengers - what a Lyft and Uber ride actually is".

Garcac's Twitch channel was taken down over the weekend.

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. Recordings can document evidence for accident and insurance claims. He claims to have stumbled onto the trend while browsing Twitch network and made a decision to start streaming himself.

Many streams and videos don't seem to think much about passenger privacy.

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