Uber, Lyft suspend driver who recorded St. Louis passengers

Jason Gargac right secretly recording passengers

"I try to capture the natural interactions between myself and the passengers - what a Lyft and Uber ride actually is", Gargac told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I don't have that in a stranger's vehicle", Gargac told the newspaper. He had reportedly earned over $3,000 from Twitch users for broadcasting his rides.

On a recent Saturday night, a posting showed two women in their 20s in Gargac's black Chevrolet Silverado. It's the latest revelation of how streaming technology from a smartphone can publicize everyday activities - most recently seen in a wave of racist incidents caught on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. He does not need their consent to film them. "The troubling behavior in the videos is not in line with our Community Guidelines", Uber explained in a statement. "The driver's access to the app has been removed while we evaluate his partnership with Uber", it added.

Lyft also suspended Mr Gargac.

Twitch said it had suspended his account. If such a violation took place, the company would take action.

The incident is stirring up debate over video cameras inside ride-hailing auto services. 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. Nevertheless, the companies enabling his live streaming chose to intervene. A control panel let Gargac switch camera views as he drove. But, of course, that all changed following the publication of the Post-Dispatch's investigation. "I didn't like it". "It was fake. It felt produced".

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Dr. Daxton "Chip" Stewart, a journalism professor at Texas Christian University and author of "Social Media and the Law", told ABC News' "Start Here" podcast that Missouri is a "one-party consent" state, meaning only one of the parties to a conversation needs to be aware it's being recorded, even if it's on video. "It makes me sick", one female passenger told the Post-Dispatch.

"I've had a few offline conversations with some folks, and they suggested getting rid of the stored vods as step #1 of trying to calm everyone down", he said, referring to on-demand videos on Twitch. Other times, they posted insulting and sexual comments.

Gargac's live stream channel was also removed from Twitch.

Uber said Monday it has ended its relationship with Gargac. In some cases, full names were revealed, along with people's homes.

But The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article raised questions about Gargac's actions from a privacy and ethical perspective, and Uber and Lyft condemned his actions.

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