An Uber and Lyft driver in St. Louis, Missouri has been silently streaming all of his rides on popular streaming platform Twitch without passenger consent.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported 32-year-old Jason Gargac, of Florissant, Missouri, has given about 700 rides in the area since March through Uber and more via Lyft.
The live streams revealed personal conversations of passengers on a Twitch web channel and comments made about the conversations and female passengers' bodies - a format similar to HBO's Taxicab Confessions from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
"I feel violated. I'm embarrassed", said one, who reportedly asked to not be identified. 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.
Following questions from the newspaper, Uber said it had suspended Mr Gargac.
"We're really dealing with a law that was developed just during the time of audio recording", Stewart said. "We got in an Uber at 2 a.m.to be safe, and then I find out that, because of that, everything I said in that auto is online and people are watching me".
"The safety and comfort of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we have deactivated this driver", a Lyft statement said.
Local newspaper the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said passengers were seen kissing, vomiting and gossiping about relatives and work colleagues. In Missouri, where the rides took place, only one party needs to give permission to record, which means the taping was legal. "It makes me sick".
Gargac told the publication that he saw nothing wrong with his behavior.
Videos that had been archived to Gargac's Twitch page were no longer on the website Saturday night.
"In terms of this particular person, we do not comment on Terms of Service violations in regards to specific individuals", Twitch said in a statement to UPI.
In an interview with the St Louis Post Dispatch, Gargac said he had enlisted the help of his wife to remove any racist, homophobic or overly sexual comments. It only takes the knowledge and consent of one participant in a conversation for its recording to be legal in the midwestern state. Like other Uber and Lyft drivers who stream their passengers' journeys on Twitch's In Real Life section, he initially informed customers about the livestreams. "I didn't like it", he said.
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