Uber has suspended a driver after he secretly live-streamed passengers

Jason Gargac

Lawyer Areva Martin said in the state of Missouri as long as one party, in this case the Uber driver, gives consent to the recording it's not deemed illegal.

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.

According to the Post-Dispatch, Gargac displayed a small sticker on the back passenger window informing passengers that his auto was "equipped with audio and visual recording devices" for security purposes. Last month the company installed panic buttons in its vehicles in the United States so passengers could call the police after reports that more than 100 drivers had been accused of sexual misconduct. The streams often revealed the full names of his passengers and showed their homes and final destinations without their knowledge. But Twitch's community guidelines expressly prohibit content that violates a person's privacy.

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.

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Gargac claimed that the primary goal of the recordings was for security, but also contradicted himself, saying that he started driving for the services in order to create the livestream, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Twitch did not comment to the newspaper on the case.

Gargac isn't the first Uber driver to create online videos featuring his ride-hailing passengers. He said it in one of his own videos, and his identity was later confirmed through public records and social media accounts.

Does a ride-hailing app driver have the right to tape his passengers without their explicit consent, then use and monetize that video? Since these actions need to be taken preemptively, Gargac is not guaranteed to have the ultimate control. If you are a party in a conversation, as Gargac is in his live stream, you are legally allowed to record it.

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"This is one of those areas where the law hasn't caught up with the technology very well", Stewart said.

With video, he added, it's not just about what people are recorded saying; there's the added layer of having their image and actions recorded as well.

But, Lidsky said she thinks the passengers are entitled to a certain amount of privacy.

"Fundamentally, exposing people, especially women, to random people on the internet is mean and it's wrong", said Alex Rosenblat, a researcher at the nonprofit think tank Data and Society.

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